"In The Eyes Of God" is one unpleasant album, and I mean that in the best sense possible because it's obviously supposed to sound that way. It was here that Today Is The Day frontman Steve Austin proved himself to be a master of depression metal. Very few albums, no matter how extreme, can create an atmosphere of utter insanity like this one can. For a bad mood, this is one of the best listens out there. It's original, it's intense, and it's really, really, really heavy.
The band's vocalist, guitarist, and only permanent member, Austin is definitely one of the most important creative forces in metal today, not to mention one of its most distinctive voies. On "In The Eyes Of God," he turns in a performance for the ages. You can really feel the desperation and alienation in every note of Austin's vocals and in every disaffected lyric. His screams and growls are stunningly vicious, and his occasional clean vocals actually betray some pain and vulnerability. Backing him up is a razor-sharp musical barrage of twisted guitars, pummelling bass, and the phenomenal drumming of the incomparable Brann Dailor. I saw another reviewer say he's never heard a drummer hit as much as Brann does, and I'm inclined to agree (and if you like his work here, be sure to pick up Mastodon's "Remission" the first chance you get).
For the most part the tracks bleed into each other, giving the album the feel of one long aural montage rather than a collection of distinct songs. But while those looking for a single will probably be disappointed, a few tunes do manage to stand out. The swirling title track could be the soundtrack to a nervous breakdown, with Austin sounding as though he could become unhinged at any moment. "Martial Law" boasts one of the most jarring structures I've ever heard, while the seven-minute epic "Going To Hell" and the indescribable "Honor" manage to intersperse some melody into the proceedings without abandoning the album's overall dark aesthetic.
Shorter songs like "Spotting A Unicorn," "Possession," and "Himself" are amazingly economical, cramming more aggression into a minute or so than you might think possible. "Russian Child Porn Ballet" and "Cold Harshness Of Being Wrong Througout Your Entire Life" don't really stand out that much, but they have such cool titles that I can't help but mention them.
This album's predecessor "Temple Of The Morning Star" and last year's 145-minute magnum opus "Sadness Will Prevail" are quality albums as well, but I think "In The Eyes Of God" sees Today Is The Day at their best. Austin was at a creative peak here, and with the band's revolving-door lineup he may never work with a rhythm section this good again. I have yet to hear TITD's older stuff, but I can't imagine them putting out a better album. "In The Eyes Of God" is essential for all who call themselves metal fans.