“Carnival III”, “High II” or just another album by these Englishmen
The euphoria that such a cult band is back together can last only for a limited amount of time. Two albums and a few tours later you are just another active band that plays shows and releases albums like everyone else.
And as awesome as it is that New Model Army are back together and release albums and make tours, passing even through Bulgaria, “Today is a Good Day” is just another recording by them and will hardly touch anyone outside their hardcore fans. Those who hungrily swallow anything the band has to offer and follow it everywhere. Luckily for New Model Army most of their fans are like that anyway.
Every time a not so heavy band decides to experiment with heavier riffs but only for a single song, it turns out so the rest of the album then sounds like a snoozefest. And the title track here is exactly the metal song Justin Sullivan promised in interviews months ago. And this is the most energetic and the freshest New Model Army have sounded in quite a while.
Awesome. But from there on everything sounds like the other two albums after the band reunited - “Carnival” (2005) and “High” (2007). And this kind of wipes the enthusiastic smile from your face. Still, of course, there are some very good pieces of music like the choirs in the end of “Autumn” that truly have a haunting effect, the fast rock-driven “Arm Yourselves & Run”, or “Bad Harvest” which reminds me of the more successful hits in the previous couple of albums. A re-recording of “Ocean Rising” from Sullivan’s solo album also found its way on this CD.
The album is once again produced by Chris Kimsey (Rolling Stones, Marillion, Duran Duran) which makes “Today is a Good Day” sound even more similar to its predecessors. Not that much of a bad thing. But if feels like the only thing growing here is the number of songs people will have to wait through before the band finally plays something off “Thunder and Consolation” for example.
Verdict: 4 / 6