Today Is the Day


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Though this album proved a puzzling, ultimately challenging release if nothing else, it presaged the shape of things to come in extreme music. Supernova straddles numerous musical fences at once, and indicates that metal could indeed be far more than a simple, formulaic system of chugging riffs, screamed vocals, and stampeding drums. In fact, the greatest feat of this album is its near-soundtrack-like aesthetic quality, making sudden left turns, detours, stylistic and volume changes at any given moment, then merging seamlessly with the next track or cleverly conceived loop. Though its hallmarks are Steve Austin's painful Robert Fripp/Greg Ginn jazz-metal guitar playing, and frightening vocal wail -- as evidenced in "6 Dementia Satyr" and "Black Dahlia" -- it is the experimental, complex soundscapes like "Blind Man at Mystic Lake" and "The Begging" that truly set this album apart. Very few outfits are capable of such detailed, inescapably mathematical, acid-damaged music. Supernova is a landmark recording.

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