Today Is The Day – Animal Mother

(Southern Lord Records, 2014)

Steve Austin (a genius of a man) formed Today Is The Day in the early nineties, was signed to the cult-label Amphetamine Reptile Records, later went on to Relapse for about ten years, and now in 2014 has found his home at Southern Lord Records. He has also operated his studios Austin Enterprise, recording and mastering many critically acclaimed albums.

The classic albums by Today Is The Day include “Willpower”, “Temple Of The Morning Star”, “In The Eyes Of God”, and many more. The band has featured different members (line-ups) on almost it’s every record, from Brann Dailor and Bill Kelliher (later of Mastodon) to Derek Roddy (Hate Eternal among other bands). The current line-up features Jeffrey Lohrber (Trap Them) and Sean Conkling (Sidra).

It’s hard to describe the music of Today Is The Day, but if you think of genres like Noise Rock, technical Death Metal, Grindcore, Sludge and Alternative Rock put through a very intense and powerful (although not necessarily violent or aggressive) Avantgarde filter, you still might get the wrong impression in your mind. This stuff needs to be heard to be believed.

Steve Austin’s trademark, his high-pitched screams and lower shouts, are again the very same as on every previous Today Is The Day album, as is his Noisy but melodic riffs. The amount of Sludgy and Doomy (although rarely actually slow) riffs may have increased, or maybe it’s just me. The drums and bass are played the way this band demands, with a lot of feeling and expertise. On these areas not much has changed during the years, so what we are left to be critical about are the songs themselves.

Steve Austin has been through many ordeals in his personal life which are all reflected in his music and lyrics. This music is shamelessly and openly personal, yet emotionally appealing to each listener on an individual level.

When the previous album “Pain Is A Warning” was a great energetic in-your-face album, it wasn’t perhaps the most eventful record on the band’s catalogue. These songs however sound each like a masterpiece of it’s own, with a lot of variations and personality to the structures and various styles thrown into this colourful and artistic blender grinding at very surreal ways (way up high as way down below).

I have not a single bad word to say about this awesome album. Steve Austin once again reminds me why he is one of the greatest artist I have ever come across, especially in the world of extreme music. Check this album out. You will most likely love it instantly or get scared by it (in some weird way), but you will definitely not be left cold.

10/10 – Antti Mikonmäki

Today Is The Day (Facebook)

Austin Enterprise (Facebook)

Southern Lord Records

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