The album is subtitled The Life And Crimes of Gilles de Rais.
I chose to do Cradle of Filth this month due to the fact that the majority of their albums are concepts andn this one is no different. The cover seems to be in league with de Rais’ debauchery and general madness.
I found information from an interview with Dani in 2009 about Gilles de Rais and his story manifests on Godspeed And The Devil’s Thunder.
“ After Joan of Arc’s death, he slid into a life of debauchery, which ended up with him trying to reclaim his fortune through alchemy and witchcraft. This led him to murder and kidnapping. He was eventually arrested by the Catholic Church and tried. It’s a great gothic sort of fairytale story, because he’s a very pious man at the beginning, turns extremely evil… The story runs concurrently throughout the album, its not just vague ideas orbiting a main satellite. It’s a story, and the narrative is actually taking from trial transcripts that were taken down in secular court at the time of his judgment. ”
The cover showing his face in several positions shows that he is in motion, moving his head from side to side, probably in a rapid motion due to the possibility that he may have guards on his tail, though each face has a different expression on it, from panic to anger. The devil’s head on the right hand side refers to the album’s title, and possibly that de Rais was in league with him. As for the children in the bottom right corner, this may refer to the kidnappings. Also to be noted is the female with the halo and the burning figure tied to a stake. The figure in the bottom left corner is likely to be de Rais’ soul (The Picture of Dorian Gray comes to mind!)