Reviews Today is the Day Supernova (Reissue)

Today is the Day

Supernova (Reissue)

Supernova is the first album from Today is the Day, which was originally released in 1993 on Amphetamine Reptile Records. Being out of print for quite sometime, Steve Austin (vocalist, guitarist, main songwriter of Today is the Day and producer of Converge, Lamb of God, and others) is re-releasing this on his own label, which interestingly enough is named from this album, SuperNova Records. Descending into the twisted sounds of Today is the Day is not for the faint of heart because it is always a challenging experience that is sure to rattle the psyche of the more impressionable listener, and this aspect of the music is one reason why their records are so tempting to listen to once one is in the mood. However, being in the mood, as I continually find out when listening to them, is a definite necessity, and Supernova is no different, in that respect, than any of its descendants. Their debut album is noticeably less metal than albums like Temple of the Morning Star or In the Eyes of God, but that may only serve to increase the weirdness factor or maybe the darker more menacing aspects that Austin can produce.

One of the first characteristics that stands out to me as Supernova plays is that Austin has a rather unique vocal style that screams madman that somehow sounds threatening and plaintive at the same time and comes across as disturbing one hundred percent of the time. The vocals almost act like the glue that holds the songs on the record together as each of the songs buffet the listener with a wide variety of noisy, guitar driven dirges. Supernova is disturbing through and through; describing this as a soundtrack to someone's twisted nightmares might serve the record in a suitable manner with its generous use of reverb and maniacally timbered vocals both of which are present in the one two punch of the first two tracks, "Black Dahlia" and "6 Dementia Satyr." The different vocals that inhabit "Silver Tongue" come at listeners from all over the place giving a sense of the sound occurring in a finite space (there is a definite feeling of spatial disorientation at times). The lyrics are just as off putting adding to the disorientation a malicious bent with the repetition of lines such as, "When your house burns down on your judgment day." The wall of brutish noise and sound that is "The Kick Inside" shows off the sheer power that Today is the Day can wield while at the same time balancing that power with an interesting arrangement that keeps the song from bring too much to digest; the fadeout of the song with squealing pigs bleating lambs and the sounds of children is both funny and disquieting, to me anyway.

Production-wise, Supernova has a booming bass drum that sounds almost cavernous while the guitars sound like buzz saws cutting through the thick reverb that inhabits the mid level ranges of sound and the vocals capture the spotlight; the bass could stand to have a bit more of a presence to really the seal the deal, but otherwise the album is clear sounding with a visceral quality. There is a great deal of misanthropic enjoyment to glean from Supernova; Austin and company fashion an excellent debut that stands up well to age even though it is fifteen years since its original release. The reissue does contain two bonus tracks, but considering how tough it is to find the original version of Today is the Day's Supernova, it is doubtful that will be the determining factor in many people's decision to pick this up.

7.5 / 10Bob
KFAI - Roar of the Underground
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7.5 / 10

7.5 / 10

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