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.
AllMusic Review by Adam Bregman