Today Is the Day - _Sadness Will Prevail_
(Relapse, 2002)
by: Xander Hoose (6.5 out of 10)
Ask people to name the strangest bands in metal/hardcore and chances are big that they will come up with Neurosis and Today Is the Day in their lists. Not only do both bands have a pretty hardcore cult following, they are both also cultish in other ways: Neurosis as a cult rather than a band, and Today Is the Day for being fronted by Steve Austin, who thinks, acts and looks like a cult leader -- not to mention a striking resemblance to the infamous Manson (Charles, not Marilyn). The God/Satan/religion-inspired themes of his music surely do add up to his image, and now -- in the holy year 2002 -- he assails the world once more with an onslaught of cultish worship packed onto as much as two shiny silver discs. That's right, this clocks in at more than twice as much as his masterpiece _In the Eyes of God_. _Sadness Will Prevail_ also features a completely new line-up -- which is not very surprising, taking into account that for mysterious reasons he has a different line-up on each album. But where this change of line-up usually resulted in a change of style for the better, _Sadness Will Prevail_ is quite a step back from both _Temple of the Morning Star_ and _In the Eyes of God_. That the Reverend Austin lost some very good musicians was already clear from the raving success of Mastodon (featuring former members of TItD), but guitars and especially drums on _SWP_ are downright awful, sometimes reaching an almost demo-ish level. Austin's vocals are even more over-the-top than on _ItEoG_, at times reaching an unpleasant pitch and sounding more like a caricature of himself than anything else. The songs themselves are hardly worth mentioning anyway, compared to the weirdness of _TotMS_ and the sheer aggression of _ItEoG_; in fact, what saves the album is the diffuse collection of insane mayhem in-between the songs: distorted Diamanda Galas on "Distortion of Nature", Mike Patton-ish screaming on "Butterflies", lots of piano parts and intermezzos ("Death Requiem", "Voice of Reason", "Your Life Is Over", "Miasma") and weird electronics ("Spaceship", "Sadness Will Prevail"). If one thing becomes painfully clear is that Austin was not ready to release a double album yet. His inspiration might be crazier and more productive than ever, but this performance is far below his capabilities. Then again, considering the past of TItD we shouldn't have to worry much about the future, as his next album will surely feature yet another line-up -- hopefully consisting of better musicians.

(article published 21/3/2003)

2/5/1997 A Bromley Today Is the Day: Today Is a Good Day to Die
7/12/2004 A McKay 7.5 Today Is the Day - Kiss the Pig
10/16/1997 A Bromley 9 Today Is The Day - Temple Of The Morning Star
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