Review Summary: Today is the Day are still one of the top influential bands out there in the metal scene, and with their latest release, they continue to show us why...
It’s been over 11 years since I last heard a Today is the Day album. It was their 1999 release, In The Eyes of God, which I enjoyed quite a bit, so I’m not to sure why I never gave any of their following albums a listen. Of course I heard a few songs here and there, but that was about it. So when news of new album was announced and I had the opportunity to check it out, I jumped all over it. Honestly, I could just kick myself for not keeping up with this band, as their newest album, Pain is a Warning, is a culmination of everything I enjoy about Today is the Day, offering up a slew of genres that when mixed together, are presented in a way that is sure to please a wide range of metal fans.
Pain is a Warning is the ninth studio album from Today is the Day, and if you’re at all familiar with the band and their musical endeavors, you’ll be pleased to know that this album is no different in execution. From the noisy and aggressive nature of tracks like “Expectations Exceed Reality”, “Death Curse” and “Wheelin’” to the more mid to low-paced, sludge and groove induced “Remember to Forget” and “Pain is a Warning”, all nine tracks offer plenty of nuances to keep the listener hooked. The bands many styles are presented throughout the album, so there is nary a dull moment to be had, and nowadays that’s important in a time where people’s attention spans are short lived.
I can’t discuss the band without mentioning the founder and only permanent member, Steve Austin. Guitarist, singer and songwriter, Steve is the heart of the band, and if there was ever an album without him, it just wouldn’t be the same. Austin’s grotesque and chaotic musical vision is essential to the bands ongoing discography and Pain is a Warning continues that flow, with plenty of lyrical themes based on violence, religion, warfare and personal struggles. All of his lyrics are delivered with his trademark distorted vocals that range from high-pitch wails to sneer rants and forceful growls. All of this is balanced well with the bursts of noise, technicality and the constant tempo changing of the music.
All of the tracks are solid and offer plenty of everything for fans, but some of the standouts include, “Expectations Exceed Reality”, with it’s spastic pounding of drums and heavy metallic sounding riffs, overall being one of the albums angriest sounding tracks. It’s a great opener to the album. The title track, “Pain is a Warning” with it’s mid-tempo/groove pacing and the vocals being more rooted in a softer tone, but still managing to dish out short bursts of rage throughout. “Wheelin’”, the shortest but fastest track on the album just annihilates on all cylinders, whereas “This is You” is the complete opposite, with a softer guitar tone and clean/whisper-like vocals taking the forefront. “The Devil’s Blood” is hard hitting and features a nice section of gang vocals at the 4:27 mark, bringing in the old school hardcore feel.
All and all, Pain is a Warning is another solid album from Today is the Day, and fans of the band will eat it up. The production suits the album well, capturing the bands diverse sound without it coming off over polished and fake sounding. The music is raw and primal, so it should sound that way in the final product, and luckily, it does. I personally can’t find any flaws with the album, as I was still amazed with this band even after not listening to them for quite some time. My mind wasn’t blown, but I was pleasantly surprised. They’re still one of the top influential bands out there in the metal scene, and with their latest release, they continue to show us why.