“Visceral, dark and vitriolic”. Pulled from their official page, these three words are perfect in pointing a finger towards the atmosphere that Immortal Bird lay down in spades. The Chicago outfit might not have the biggest online presence but their music is bountiful and lavish, drawing from black, death and sludge as much as grind. Hot from releasing one of the year’s sleeper hits, this band deserve more than the nod given here. Spread the word, this band are hot shit.
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Harnessing beautiful, tortured vocals and precise riffing, Immortal Bird take the ferocity of grind and death and blend it with just the right amount of black metal aesthetic; forget corpse paint and blast beats, dread and devilish hooks are the name of the game here. Not to say that there aren’t a good whack of unforgiving blasts being used here but there’s much more going on. New release, Empress/Abscess sees five tracks spread over one half hour of tightly packed string and skin assault. Imagine Cloud Rat but foregoing the lo-fi elements of their sound. If you’re not familiar with Cloud Rat? Imagine Converge taking a young black metal band out on tour and the two of them spawning some sort of hybrid bastard child. A child that longs for the glory days of European black metal but without the gimmicks or attitude; the kind of attitude that keeps those bands held in high and low regard, depending on who you ask.
The female fronted band don’t have that information plastered over any of their materials because it’s not necessary to explain. Rae Amitay does a better job of committing to blackened vocals that many of her male counterparts. Put simply, she screams and laments over music perfectly suited to her voice. Toying with dynamics more so than most blackened acts, Immortal Bird craft music that creeps up unsuspecting, toying with the notion of going full out before pulling back and taking the creeper level right back up. Well worth a listen should one be after something that winds through a cascading series of dark influences.