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TODAY IS THE DAY - Sadness Will Prevail - CD - Relapse Records

review by: Roberto Martinelli

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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