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Damnation and a Day

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Album Review

What if a black metal band with a penchant for performance art and symphony-sized stage shows got a major label to back up and fund its perverted vision of apocalypse? The result would be something like Damnation and a Day, a metal album that features a 40-piece orchestra and 32-piece choir, but is still definitely extreme-sounding and can in no way be viewed as a sellout. Cradle of Filth was called a sellout long before they hooked up with Sony. Hardcore black metalers thought their stage show was too cartoony and Alice Cooper-like. That's true in a way — the band's delivery of dark music comes filtered through a show that's more Cirque du Soleil than satanic. If any black metal band was ever going to be in league with the Beelzebub-owned music industry, it was Cradle of Filth. So not surprisingly, for their major-label debut the filthy ones have come up with a sprawling, 77-minute-long record. It has some grand-sounding moments and is recorded cleanly, with the symphonic and operatic elements being perhaps its best. But it is endless, and only a true Filth fan could tell one song from another. The song titles include "A Bruise Upon the Silent Moon," "The Promise of Fever," and "The Mordant Liquor of Tears," and obviously they are trying for something truly portentous with Damnation and a Day — but it's a mess. Perhaps someone more level-headed at the record label or a gifted producer could have turned this into a record with real songs. As it is, it's a taxing, less-than-monumental work that won't win them many new mainstream fans, if that's at all what they had in mind.


Formed: 1991 in Suffolk, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

British black metal band Cradle of Filth formed in 1991, originally comprised of vocalist Dani Filth (born Daniel Lloyd Davey), guitarist Paul Ryan, his keyboardist brother Benjamin, bassist John Richard, and drummer Darren. After recording a demo dubbed Invoking the Unclean a year later, the group recruited guitarist Robin Eaglestone, who quit soon after recording a second demo, Orgiastic Pleasures; however, when Richard exited the band a short time later, Eaglestone stepped back in to assume bass...
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Damnation and a Day, Cradle of Filth
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