Sadness Will Prevail is in a sense Today is
the Day's finest album yet. This 2CD release nearly maximizes the allotted
time for each 74-minute disk, so there's a lot to take in. Comparing this
album with the band's previous works, imagine Temple of the Morning
Star but twice as long and even more diverse. Now, some may call the
musical interlude pieces in-between the proper songs on the album "filler,"
but that is hardly the case.
Imagine if a Today is the Day record smashed into
a Swans record and all the parts got mixed up together. You get the same
pissed-off, odd-timed, aggro songs fronted by uniquely effected high screams,
but then there are all these depressive, weird parts that give the album
so much of its flavor. Yeah, Sadness Will Prevail is really fucking
depressive. I don't know if it's because of how somber the weather was
when I first heard it - maybe it was perfect timing - but the record hurts.
This is mostly thanks to excellently chosen spoken clips from movies (like
the supremely despondent and brilliant "Memento"), bleak, beautiful
piano and string pieces, and chilling black metal ambient collages courtesy
of guest musicians such as Kris Force of Amber Asylum and Wrest of our
very own Leviathan!
Sadness Will Prevail does have its objective
downside. For one, the production is curiously lo-fi. Sort of. This isn't
like black metal necro production, but the music has very little bass
and attacks far less than the bands previous album, In the Eyes of
God. When I first heard Sadness Will Prevail, I thought that
the first song was one of those tracks that is at half output for half
a minute, and then kicks in - but it never does. This is something that
you quickly get used to, though. And while Steve Austin has found yet
another excellent drummer, he can't fill the shoes of Bränn Dailor,
whose amazing playing can currently be found in Mastodon.
Don't be surprised if this record makes more than
a few top whatever lists for metal album of the year. In a sense, it is.
In the Eyes of God may be the Today is the Day album I'll reach
for before any other, but there's no question that Sadness Will Prevail
is this group's most diverse and complete effort.
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