Today Is The Day

Temple Of The Morning Star

Today Is The Day - Temple Of The Morning Star ©1997 Relapse
1. Temple Of The Morning Star
2. The Man Who Loves To Hurt Himself
3. Blindspot
4. High As The Sky
5. Miracle
6. Kill Yourself
7. Mankind
8. Pinnacle
9. Crutch
10. Root Of All Evil
11. Satan Is Alive
12. Rabid Lassie
13. Friend For Life
14. My Life With You
15. I See You
16. Hermaphrodite
17. Temple Of The Morning Star

Lead by the bionic man, Steve Austin (that's what they claim his name is), Today is the Day is a mix between hardcore, industrial noise, and a little Slayer spirit (need reference? check out "Root of all Evil" and tell me that's not a Slayer tribute). Though the album starts out with a very earthy sounding "Temple of the Morning Star", the majority of the CD is filled with harsh, dissonant guitar/electronic/distorted vocals hardcore. Occasionally, the band allows themselves to explore with some really cool exotic sounding guitarwork and electronics, but unfortunately that's not the norm. My biggest complaint with Today is the Day is their very repetitive songwriting style. Too much of it blends together where you don't feel a difference from track to track. Austin tends to rely on vocal processors a lot, which, while cool from time to time, tend to annoy the listen after a handful of songs. But then again, looking at his lyrical stance, I don't think he's into cuddling, long walks in the moonlight, or appeasing his listeners.

I would only recommend this to listeners into harsh hardcore.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 10/1997

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In The Eyes Of God

Today Is The Day - In The Eyes Of God ©1999 Relapse
1. In The Eyes Of God
2. Going To Hell
3. Spotting A Unicorn
4. Possession
5. The Color Of Psychic Power
6. Mayari
7. Soldier Of Fortune
8. Bionic Cock
9. Argali
10. Afterlife
11. Himself
12. Daddy
13. Who Is The Black Angel
14. Martial Law
15. False Reality
16. The Russian Child Porn Ballet
17. The Cold Harshness Of Being Wrong Throughout Your Entire Life
18. Honor
19. Worn Out
20. There Is No End

Today Is The Day are one of a number denizens occupying Relapse Record's roster specializing in impact: no time to weave epic story lines, aesopical fables, or consider consequence. Today Is the Day, in particular, imbue their brand of slick noise rock with an unapologetic salacious perversion, vicious, spiteful rancor and complete moral abandon. In general, a pervading unwholesomeness that is most disturbing in the absense of redeeming social concern. Two years ago their Temple of the Morning Star release was an unrelenting swirl of violent hardcore, Voivodian electronic ebellishment, quirky interpretations of metal riffs, and odd rhythmic configurations. It was unique in the way it straddled a number of genres without actually committing to any of them, without being self-conscious, and I liked it.

In the Eyes of God does not suggest Stone Cold Steve Austin's oddball approach to art has changed. At all. His petulant vocals are still electro-treated and incredibly pissed sounding, delivering his usual (pretty bad) pathological lyrics to an exacting, angularly acute rhythm section. The sonic palette from which he is swathing his influences has expanded to the extent that grind is now clearly distinguishable, and although this formula can longer turn heads in the manner it had during the genesis of its predecessor, the songs are better: surprisinly intricate and alarmingly complex, one has no choice but indulge. Ultimately, it is disturbing, intense, noisy and amazingly crafted hatecore, the likes of which I have not experienced.

What does all this mean? In the Eyes of God wastes no time getting from A to B. It's like a nightmare for the Christian Right, made all the more frightening because these guys have been known to render a catchy song or two, their proclivity for memorable musical phrasings declared by the likes of "Afterlife" and "There Is No End". As for the rest of us, who are secure in our existentiality, Today Is the Day remain leaders in an inconspicuous, but healthy noise scene in the U.S., the outlet of choice for young nihilists everywhere looking for a voice. Possibly damaging, but undeniably potent.

Review by Lee Steadham

Review date: 09/1999

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Live Till You Die

Today Is The Day - Live Till You Die ©2000 Relapse
1. The Color Of Psychic Power
2. Pinnacle
3. Feel Like Makin' Love
4. Temple Of The Morning Star
5. Wicked Game
6. Crutch
7. Ripped Off (acoustic)
8. High As The Sky
9. In The Eyes Of God
10. Users
11. TDA
12. Blindspot
13. Why Don't We Do It In The Road?
14. Afterlife
15. The Man Who Loved To Hurt Himself

Of all the live bands I've seen over the years, Today is the Day easily ranks as one of the heaviest and most oppressing acts I've ever seen onstage. That they are a three piece is even more impressive. Their stage sound is so crushing and overwhelming that I found myself needing to back away and return to the safety of the bar a couple times in order to find some breathing room. Live Till You Die is a feeble attempt to capture some of the fury and destruction of Today is the Day live and it is only feeble because you simply can't take that sort of heaviness and of-the-moment sonic torture and properly put it to compact disc. This album does a fair job, however, of snaring the eclectic aspects of this strange noise rock trio.

Rather than being a straightforward live album recorded in one setting, the fifteen tracks are compiled from different venues, radio shows and outtakes. As a result, there is an uneven quality to the CD, something you often found in efforts such as this. Sound quality varies, approach varies, but the harsh anger and hatred never waver. With covers such as Bad Company's "Feel Like Makin' Love", Chris Isaac's "Wicked Game" and the Beatles' "Why Don't We Do It In the Road?", one might reckon that band leader Steve Austin does indeed have a sense of humor, but it is as warped as his music. A couple "lighter" tracks, such as "Temple of the Morning Star" or the acoustic "Ripped Off", capture another facet of the band. Some of the various live tracks are muddy as hell, but you get the general feel of what they are doing onstage to their audience.

Perhaps the only thing this collection of live tracks does not capture or even hint at is Steve Austin's manic stage impression: dripping sweat, deep throating the microphone and general terror. But as a companion to the band's studio albums, Live Till You Die is very much recommended.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 09/2000

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Sadness Will Prevail

Today Is The Day - Sadness Will Prevail ©2002 Relapse
CD one:
1. Maggots And Riots
2. Criminal
3. Distortion Of Nature
4. Crooked
5. Butterflies
6. Unearthed
7. The Descent
8. Death Requiem
9. Christianized Magick
10. Voice Of Reason: Vicious Barker
11. Face After The Shot
12. The Ivory Of Self Hate
13. The Nailing
14. Mistake
15. Invincible
16. Aurora
17. Sadness Will Prevail
CD two:
18. Myriad Spaceship
19. Flowers
20. Made Of Flesh
21. Your Life Is Over
22. Control The Media
23. Vivicide
24. Miasma
25. Times Of Pain
26. Breadwinner
27. Friend
28. Never Answer The Phone
29. I Live To See You Smile
30. Sadness Will Prevail Theme

Whether Sadness Will Prevail is a cumbersome, over-indulgent piece of excess or a magnificently structured work of a mad genius is going to be the major debate over Today is the Day's 2002 sprawling effort. To listen to the entire opus, one must sent aside nearly two and a half hours and for a vast majority of music listeners, that may be a bit much to ask. Considering the acidic, abrasive nature of Today is the Day's music, it may take an aural masochist to listen to both discs in one sitting. I certainly have never been able to take this more than a single CD at a time.

Sadness Will Prevail marks the most experimental music this always shifting outfit has created. Bandleader Steve Austin apparently decided not to trim anything away in creating the CD and thus, listeners are treated/tortured by everything from ambient noise soundscapes to grating Todaycore that makes early Swans seem like cuddly black lab puppies in comparison. Perhaps the telling point for one's enjoyment for this release is how easily one can tolerate the seemingly aimless interludes and soundscapes that mark a large percentage of the recording. Voices are sampled, computer modem sounds are inserted and ambience is given full reign throughout the album. To some, this may suggest Austin didn't have anyone in the studio saying, "Say, Steve, you might want to consider leaving the last four minutes of noise out." The apparently unfocused nature of the music may exasperate some listeners and the exact same passage will entrance others. It simply depends on one's tolerance or appreciation for noise as musical art.

This CD is a difficult thing to recommend. One must be willing to undergo multiple listens to wade through the jungle of sounds. For many listeners, myself included, that task may become too daunting when faced with another long segment of white noise distortion posing as your right speaker. But for those out there who crave a style of music that shreds recording equipment into tiny little shards, Sadness Will Prevail is a plethora of abrasions and bruises.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 08/2003

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