By Elisabeth Vincentelli
Updated May 16, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

Move over, nu-jocks in backward caps and whiny suburban hard-rockers: Two longtime underground metal combos just put out albums that’ll make you seem like weaklings. England’s CRADLE OF FILTH have a highly theatrical take on black metal. But on their major-label debut, they finally got the budget to match their imagination. Beefed up by a Hungarian orchestra, DAMNATION AND A DAY (Epic) sounds at times like the possessed Linda Blair singing ”Bohemian Rhapsody,” at others like amped-up John Williams. It’s over-the-top and surprisingly catchy; these guys could be the talk of this year’s Ozzfest. Like COF, Virginia’s LAMB OF GOD have existed in some form for 10 years; but unlike Damnation, LOG’s AS THE PALACES BURN (Prosthetic) is lean and mean. Surrendering to the aggro pummeling is extremely satisfying. Day: B+ Burn: B