Today Is the Day - Axis of Eden (Cover Artwork)

Today Is the Day

Axis of Eden (2007)


I'll admit: After the last couple releases from Today Is the Day, I had lost hope in the band as well as Steve Austin. Temple of the Morning Star is an all-time favorite of mine and to me Sadness Will Prevail and Kiss the Pig just didn't highlight the songwriting talents of Steve Austin and it felt as if he was just going through the motions. Both were good releases, but not mind-blowing. I read a lot about Axis of Eden being a 'return to form' for TITD and with that I was even more worried that this was going to be another 'going-through-the-motions' release for Today Is the Day. I was dead wrong.

One of the most underrated bands in extreme music today, Today Is the Day have put out their strongest release since In the Eyes of God with Axis of Eden. All of the great elements of Today Is the Day, from the slow and brooding to the fast and maniacal, are all here. Steve Austin likes to recruit various musicians to play on his releases and this time around we have Mr. Austin on guitar, vocals, keys, strings, and piano, Chris DeBari on bass and guitar, and Derek Roddy (Nile, Hate Eternal) on drums. Some of the heaviest songs Austin has written are on this disc along with the most beautiful (ever read THAT in a TITD review?)

The disc starts off with "IED" and doesn't let up much until the last few minutes of "If You Want Peace Prepare for War." Double-bass is played much throughout the first five songs and right away you'll notice the muddy production. I have to believe this was intentional considering some of the top quality-sounding discs Austin has put out on his own label Supernova Records (Defcon 4, Taipan). I wish the guitars were more prevalent on this disc, but other than that, the production is superb. Steve Austin had a broken rib while performing most of the vocals on this disc and the pain he was feeling comes through on songs like "Broken Promises and Dead Dreams" (which is a stab at former label Relapse Records) and "My Wish Is Your Command."

Things lighten up a bit midway through the disc with "No Lung Baby," which has Austin actually singing over a very catchy, simple, mildly distorted riff. After that things return to the norm until the end with "Desolation." I'm not sure what the point of this 'song' is, but it sounds like someone took a keyboard, started a drum beat while drinking, then passed out on the keyboard with the record button on. Nothing like TITD at all and very out of place.

If you're new to TITD, pick up Willpower and then buy (don't download/steal) Temple of the Morning Star and In the Eyes of God before buying this release to capture the true essence of TITD. If you've been a fan of TITD from the beginning, this is a welcome return to form for TITD. They will soon be touring with bands like Psy0pus, Mouth of the Architect, Kill the Client and many others, so be sure to catch them live!