Today Is the Day Pain is a Warning

Today Is the Day Pain is a Warning
After nearly 20 years, Today is the Day remain a somewhat underground band producing fascinatingly raw, extreme metal that frequently moves into experimental territory. Refusing to conform to any one sound, the band return with Pain is a Warning. The album maintains the kind of originality and provocative metal fans expect from Today is the Day. Pain is a Warning is a militant epic, jettisoning some of the new age experimentation. However, make no mistake, while there's less experimentation, the band deliver just as much bone shattering creativity. Today is the Day have always been the musical equivalent of a complete mental breakdown: a manic journey through rage, paranoia, maniacal tendencies and ultra-aggression. This is precisely what they produce on Pain is a Warning. Vocalist and Today is the Day founding father Steve Austen's slightly muted, echo-y screams always sound as if they're a voice in the back of your head, giving every song a brilliantly introspective, destabilized feeling. Opener "Expectations Exceed Reality" is a booming cacophony of competing urges, at times unleashing breakdown-inspired heaviness while at others moving into manic soloing. The title track is a seething anthem of defiance, with Austen whispering, "you can't make me what you want" before breaking into a thundering Southern rock chorus. The Southern sounds continue with "The Devil's Blood," a whisky-soaked number of self-loathing. The album slows down on a few songs, but closer "Samurai" ends with a vengeance that could kill Bill. As usual, the band run the gamut of emotions and musical styles on Pain is a Warning, all of them brutally honest and worth experiencing. (Black Market Activities)