Review Summary: When It's All Over My Blood Is Last To Run Willpower.7 of 8 thought this review was well written
Raw and delicate teetering on the see-saw of madness lays Today Is The Day’s magnum opus: Willpower. Noise is a genre tag some use to describe the music that is to be found on this record and rightfully so. This album is nothing short of insanity, featuring influence from various genres and utilizing various tonalities to make one confusing album. Like all things in life nothing comes easy, nor does the appreciation for Willpower. This album is a really odd endeavor however that only makes it a stronger effort for it.
To be found on this album are influences ranging from: skramz, early post-hardcore, southern music, and a teeny, tiny teaspoon of grunge. This album begins with a frantic sample featuring a man and woman yelling at each other over trust, although the context is unclear the lyrics throughout depict a story of doubt and error. Although chaotic, the lyrics never become hindered by the mess and come out as a strong part of the album. Interesting pleads and thought provoking lines can be found throughout such as on My First Knife for example: “Help me mourning dove lift Me up so high I wish you Were with me instead of far Away”. Rather than whining the album comes off much more contemplative in nature as if a reflection of the mind. Samples reign supreme on this album and are featured in nearly every song on the album. The samples however never detract from the song due to their relevant context and because the songs instrumentally build up as they are played out to add an interesting affect to the delivery of the lines.
The production on this album is very raw, not too distant of what is to be found on a skramz album. The guitar is very slow burning throughout, moving at a surprisingly slow rate considering the chaotic sound of the album. That does not mean that the leads are not interesting however, I find the guitar to be similar in ways to moments scattered throughout Botch’s album ‘An Anthology of Dead Ends’ a prime example being ‘Sidewinder’. Guitar however is not the highlight of this album nor is it intended to be. The drumming really shines here on this album and is held accountable for a lot of the disorder to found. Complex drum patterns and catchy beats hook you in only to have the bass in combination with guitar finish you off. The bass is very audible on this album as well and plays an important role in the worn tonality the songs carry. The instruments may be audible, but that doesn’t detract from the rawness of the atmosphere, a venture that many black metal bands would fear to steer into. The bass works in great combination with the drums on songs like the ‘Golden Calf’ which blend beautifully to create the eerie atmosphere. Of course none of this would possible without the help of the vocalist.
The vocals do a splendid job of taking atmosphere into context and are delivered in both screams and clean vocals. The clean vocals are produced in a way that they fade out into the background as if they are trying to reach up over the instruments, tossing them about like currents. The screams are quite raw in production oddly enough but never feel out of place, they are very gritty and emotionally delivered.
Willpower is a brilliant album involving a fusion of various genres to create an album filled with Botch-esque guitar leads, complex drumming patterns, great support from the bass, powerful lyrics but most importantly great atmosphere. It is because of Willpower’s experimental nature and mixture of styles that it succeeds in being both an original and memorable release.