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Temple of the Morning Star
Today Is the Day
Temple of the Morning Star
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock, Metal
  •  Track Listings (17) - Disc #1

It's not just the roaring screams, skewed guitar noise, and offbeat-drumming that makes Temple of the Morning Star so daunting and visceral. It's the stuff in between--the ominous melodic intros, demented phone conversatio...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Today Is the Day
Title: Temple of the Morning Star
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Relapse
Original Release Date: 10/14/1997
Re-Release Date: 9/23/1997
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock, Metal
Styles: Hardcore & Punk, Indie & Lo-Fi, Progressive, Progressive Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 781676696420

It's not just the roaring screams, skewed guitar noise, and offbeat-drumming that makes Temple of the Morning Star so daunting and visceral. It's the stuff in between--the ominous melodic intros, demented phone conversations, and disjointed sound bytes--which provides truly essential listening for disgruntled postal employees. Instead of just weaving fanciful tales of darkness and depravity, Today is the Day seem determined to engulf their listeners within the sonic madness, and send them spiraling off into the abyss. In other words, this is homicidal listening at its best. --Jon Wiederhorn

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CD Reviews

The Evil that Exists In All of Us
K. Brigance | Where East Meets West | 10/22/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Not alot gives me hope, but the fact that Mastodon are becoming metal legends does reveal a bit of optimism in my otherwise dreary outlook. Alot of more abrasive acts have recieved unlikely courtships from the mainstream...Opeth is an international sensation, Dimmu Borgir pulled off a mainstage gig at Ozzfest '04, and Lamb of God are being heralded as the "Saviours of American Metal" by bullhorn toters from coast to coast. But these success stories, in my metallic opinion, were all semi-logical. Mastodon's both critical and fan adoration is surprising because they have emerged from that crushingly heavy corner of extreme metal that leaves little room for sentimentality or linear song patterns...they are extreme; rooted in doom, death, and grind. But doom, death, and grind acts don't get signed to Warner Brothers and become Pitchfork Media favorites...Mastodon had to possess something else. Mastodon are where they are, if you ask me, because their stellar rhythm section is still adhering to that cerebral eerieness that they picked up when they were ordained as ministers of darkness under the heavy hand of THE REVEREND STEVE AUSTIN, mastermind of Today is the Day and the only musician I can think of who genuinely invokes pure earthbound evil.

Granted, Kelliher and Dailor of Mastodon were picked up by Austin for the Today is the Day album following "Temple of the Morningstar". But it is on this prior album that the misanthropic aesthetic of future TITD endeavors were solidified. It opens with it's namesake track, a flowing accoustic piece that is akin to a hymn beginning this evil sermon. The listener is indoctrinated by the repeated passage, "I can't be what you want me to be...I am DEAD". And with that the thesis statement is made; welcome to the Temple, prepare for the ritual ablutions and the living sacrifices. Prepare yourself for audio-terrorism.

Uber-explicit Satan references or gorey subject matter are staples of evil metal music. And while "Temple of the Morning Star" has traces of each it presents them in such a matter of fact and realist manner that it relegates the Satan and gore imagery of black and death metal to mere novelty. One cannot experience the evil inherent in Steve Austin in the detached manner that they might Cannibal Corpse or even, what the heck, Mayhem. No no...this is the evil that the evening news scratches the surface of; this is the evil that makes us lock our doors at night; this is the evil that exists in all of us. Steve Austin, with Today is the Day, brings painfully close the thoughts which we are all capable of making but from which we hide.

Explicit images of true sexual carnage; self-mutilation; self-hate; the desire for death; feelings of immense lonliness and alienation...this is the mantra espoused from the "Temple of the Morning Star". Lyrics hardly ever make me quiver beneath the blankets, but the shrieks of "Why hold back? Kill yourself, take the blade, do it clean" in "Kill Yourself" produce goosebumps on my metal-worn skin. Same goes for the unrepeatable (on Amazon) imagery produced on "Pinnacle" and "Hermaphrodite". Here we have Austin taking that quiet and unacknowledged voice in all of us that acknowledges evil and amplifying it to a point where we cannot ignore it.

The sound? Well, I have never been comfortable classifying TITD as a heavy metal band. To me they are audio-terror, a disturbance of one's inner-peace, an experiment in the effect sound can have on the equilibrium of the listener. Steve Austin uses negative aesthetics as his canvas. The drums, bass, and guitar are all metal; but they take a backseat to the overall picture which is one of pure unease -- guiding this flaming chariot are Steve Austin's tortured and mutilated vocals: the most powerful instrument on the record.

Now Mastodon is very much a metal band...but I feel they owe the composition of their sound more to Today is the Day than anyone. Even Kellier and Dailor's previous band Lethargy is not as close to their current sound as TITD is. This is because The Reverend Steve Austin reveals to those who are attentive what they might have thought impossible. The ability to use human psychology and play upon the emotions of the audience to truly define heavy. Go back and listen Mastodon's first recording the "Lifesblood" EP. The samples, the build-ups, the claustrophobia and fullness of the entire is almost like listening to a Today is the Day album from the same era.

So Satan bless Relapse Records for re-releasing this remastered version of this religiously required recording. The liner notes are a necessary counterpart to complete the verses "Temple of the Morning Star". Suddenly that realness of Steve Austin is, well, realer. With Today is the Day Austin brings the introvert into extroverted form. It is pure nihilism looking outward and not hesitating to reflect what it sees and feels in a brutally honest way. But what is truly horror-inducing about "Temple of the Morning Star" is that this is not the voice of a hermit staring disdainfully through his blinds and casting aspersions onto the world. Rather this is the voice of that nihilistic hermit that dwells in a realm of your soul that you'd rather forget was there. But we all possess it. The grand triumph of this album is that it makes the listener admit that evil dwells within each and every one of us. By suppressing that evil the "evils" of this world are allowed to permeate.

Steve Austin, you are what Maynard James Keenan wishes he could be."
Pivotal Album
J. Martz | 03/16/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Marking TDITD's emergence as a force to be reckoned with, Temple Of The Morning Star also seems to have been an album born of Steve Austen's life trials. The liner notes to this reissue are compelling reading, and inspirational. Hats off to anyone who can muster the courage and wherewithall to make music, or art of any form, in EXACTLY the way they personally see it, without lowering to common denominators, and with the determination and hope that others will eventually enjoy your labors. The struggle to make your art accessible to others, even in this day and age, is what separates the "artists" from the legends. Having been a clear influence and sounding board for commercially successful bands such as Mastadon and Lamb of God, Today Is The Day deserves and often gets kudos from many people in the tight-knit little circle of musicians who resist the whole hardcore-numetal-thrash-grind-whatever tags imposed by label-obsessed media conglomerates. Austin and Co. are the real deal, and when you hear the music on any album prior to, including, and following Temple, you hear the passions of people who think a little differently from most. And that's why we love them."
Unsung Masterpiece
Joseph P. Godek | 06/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I liked this album when it first came out-saw them a few times live-pretty intense-okay, nice and all but recently, for a cross-country trip, I loaded this(and Sadness Will Prevail-also another amazing album) into the i-pod and was completely blown away!! So intense! So ahead of it's time! simply stunning!"