IMMORTAL BIRD – Thrive On Neglect
Immortal Bird is, apparently, one of my home town’s best kept secrets, although I remember seeing the cover of their acclaimed debut "Empress/Abscess" and even hearing some music off of that record a while ago, without realizing they were Chicagoans. Formed in 2013, Rae Amitay (vocals), Nate Madden (guitars), John Picillo (bass) and Matt Korajczyk (drums) made waves already with their first EP "Akrasia" but this here, "Thrive On Neglect" takes their craft beyond their first two releases. Consider the favorite "Avolition" highly reminiscent of Enslaved for both complexity and hooks, Immortal Bird expertly genre hopping and simultaneously melding the previously incomparable elements seamless. In this they are doubtless empowered by the fantastic production of Flatline Audio Studio (Denver, Colorado) and Dave Otero (Archspire, Cattle Decapitation, Khemmis), whereby every riff, hook and melody explodes with power and clarity of, say, Death’s "Symbolic", all the more since Rae’s vocals recall Death’s Chuck Schuldiner.
Another favorite, "House Of Anhedonia" is more hardcore oriented and reminds me of Fear Factory’s "Demanufacture", especially with its "Replica" stop-and-go ending, while another favorite, "Quisquilian Company" is a jaw-dropping death/thrashfest in the vein of Extol’s "Synergy" or Deathspell Omega’s "Paracletus" with Ulcerate’s complexity. Finally, Immortal Bird pulls all the stops with the truly progressive closer "Stumbling Toward Catharsis", which, again, recalls Enslaved and the acoustic ballad-ic riff Living Sacrifice’s "Threatened", while complexity, again, rivals Ulcerate and the slowly built up intensity with effectual powerful climax – Behemoth or Nile.
As it is often the case with genre-melding, even excellent genre-melding, some tracks are better than others and I find one, "Vestigial Warnings", even with its excellent drumrolls and "Fury And Flames" Hate Eternal – sounding riffs, a little undercooked, as compared to "Avolition" or "Quisquilian Company".
Like a well-oiled war machine, Immortal Bird starts with the relentless "Anger Breeds Contempt" and never lets up all the way through "Stumbling Toward Catharsis", proving they deserve to be named in one breath with the likes of Enslaved, Ulcerate or Extol. Highly recommended.