Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Today is the Day - Animal Mother (2014)

Unless somebody comes out of nowhere and releases the greatest album ever, this will be album of the year.

Having sort of lost a little bit of interest in TITD, I was completely unprepared for the gloomy majesty of this album. Honestly, I began to drift away from what the band was doing around the time 'Kiss the Pig' came out. Whatever it is  that album's supposed to represent, I was just not feeling it. 'Axis of Eden' was a little better but god damn what an awful production it had! By the time 'Pain is a Warning' came out I just sort of kept on walking by not really paying it any mind except for listening to a teaser on Youtube (of course, after being blown away by this album I would go back and ultimately feel a little dumb for having ignored PIAW in the first place).

The first thing I notice is that the vibe is more than similar to TITD's grand opus, 'Temple of the Morning Star'. I have always hoped that the "reverend" would revisit that territory through the years and now, it seems, he finally has, though a case could be made that 'Axis of Eden' traversed similar grounds albeit the bass-smothered production. This time, however, the stars were in perfect alignment and right from the jump you know that this is going to be a quality experience wrought by the imagination and fury of one of music's greatest contemporaries.

I'm not going to bother over-explaining every detail of every song on here but trust me when I tell you that this album is easily the best thing Steve Austin has created in a very, very long time. I would even go as far as to say that, spiritually, this feels like the successor to 'Temple of the Morning Star'. For me, 'In the Eyes of God' just lacked that grimy charm. It was a little too pristine for its own good and believe me, I could care less about how many drum rolls homey from Mastodon threw into the mix. 'Sadness Will Prevail' was certainly on point though there are detractors who complain of its length. Personally, I've always felt that that album was a voyage through insanity and a rather flawless experience. 'Animal Mother' is definitely a welcome return to the deeper levels of madness that Steve Austin has been so kind to show us in the past. Not only that, but god damn this is one heavy motherfucker! Not only are there many violent and psychopathic mindscapes to explore here but there is also no shortage of flat out heaviness, either, yet everything is perfectly thought out and placed. Where Godflesh may have overdone the heaviness just a tad on their return album, TITD has carefully put together a sonic masterwork for the ages.

I'm already fiending for whatever it is the Reverend decides to do next, though for now I figure what better time than to go back and reassess some of those albums I had previously overlooked.

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