Let’s be honest here. Today Is the Day is mainly the life’s work of one man, Steve Austin, with a rotating rhythm section that changes every album or two. That said, he usually finds musicians that are well-versed in the genre… I guess you could call it post-hardcore? For album number 10, it’s drummer Jeffrey Lohrber (Enabler) and bassist Sean Conkling, whose previous work I’m a little less familiar with. Nevertheless, they both do a pretty solid job on these songs.
And there are no shortage of songs here: 15, in fact, spanning nearly 57 minutes. They get right into it with the title track, five minutes of jagged post sludge, Neurosis-style drumming and menancing whispers that turn into screams. I kinda hate to say it, but the soft-verse, loud-chorus dynamic actually kinda reminds me of nu-metal… The song slows to a whisper halfway through, nothing but vocals until the guitars join in with a distinctly post-sludge pattern, less nu-metal, more Neurosis. Good thing I didn’t hit “Stop” at the two-minute mark!
“Discipline” actually begins with blast-beats, giving off an old-school, lo-fi death-metal vibe, but with some punishing sludge riffage on the chorus. Speaking of which, the high-pitched scream that opens “Sick of Your Mouth” actually reminds me of Macabre, although this number is much more grating and angular than the murder-metal masters. And I’ll be damned if minute-25 interlude “Imperfection” isn’t just a bit black-metal sounding…
Suffice to say there are several shorter songs on here, with no shortage of death-metal drumming, either. But the riffs are neither here nor there, crashing and bashing all over the place, not easily stuffed into one subgenre box—although sludge is probably the most common sound. Check out “Masada” or “Outlaw,” to name but a couple, and I’ll be damned if 11-minute album-closer “Zodiac” doesn’t have its share of doomy riffs (at least within the first few minutes)! Austin is definitely a hard one to pin down… and that’s definitely not a bad thing.