While it would not sound it from the name, Immortal Bird is an excellent upcoming metal band. Their debut album, or LP alternately, is Empress/Abscess, sporting a stunningly gorgeous cover for the rage within. Released merely two years after their debut EP Akrasia, the album promises to be full of inner rage, self-deprecation and misery. It is hard to peg exactly what type of metal the listener would be getting, however, as their classification is dictated as “Male-Backed XXXTREME Metal.”
An oddly pleasant combination of grindcore, dethmetal and punk, Immortal Bird’s Empress/Abscess is a phenomenal debut album. While only composed of five tracks, the album maintains a straight rush of adrenaline and rage throughout. Rae Amitay deserves commendation for her excellent vocalization. It is rare to get the joy of hearing an alto growler, and it was refreshing to say the least. Especially on “Saprophyte,” her chanting and screams really pulled the listener into the song. Her vocal consistency is truly amazing. While most tracks are the standard four to five minutes, “And Send Fire” is the longest track, coming in at a whopping 10 minutes and 29 seconds.
It is a perfect track, starting off with guitars paired with music box-esque noises that sludgily work up from a simmer to a full rolling boil as the band commences to thrash. It has an excellent ebb and flow, cooling down about midway before commencing a secondary audio attack of thrash prior to the noise and echo outro. One track is slightly out of place however, and that would be “The Sycophant.” While enjoyable nonetheless, it brings a heavy punk vibe one just cannot shake. It is not jarring exactly, just a subtle yet noticeable change in tone smack in the middle of the album.
A brilliant and exciting rush, Empress/Abscess really does impress, leaving the listener ready to hit play all over again. Despite its ambiguity and in-flux style, it shines through with excellent guitar work, well composed lyrics, and even some piano surprises. Immortal Bird brings a whole new level of A-game to the table, one that could be hoped for in other bands. While difficult to peg, that is the beauty of the band at the moment; that the listener may yet be in for some surprises.