Chicago’s Immortal Bird defies classification. Their sound definitely runs thick with the hallmarks of black metal, but there’s also a bit of an “everything but the kitchen sink” vibe going on. The band shifts effortlessly from sludgy, doom metal to thrash all the way up through out and out hardcore. There are even beautifully dissonant, acoustic piano passages. That might sound like a schizophrenic cocktail on paper, but the underlying current of rage in both front-woman Rae’s voice and the band’s sonic battery manage to tie it all together in as a cohesive whole.
However, lest you think that Immortal Bird are only the bunch of angry individuals that they come across as sonically, consider this: the band eschews the label of “female fronted metal band” by labeling themselves “male backed metal” on their Facebook page. In the same space they also declare their hometown to be “Not China.” The latter is a tongue in cheek jab at South Dakota’s Ghost Bath, who convinced the press initially that they were in fact a Chinese black metal band as a publicity stunt.
Today marks the release of Empress/Abscess, the debut full-length album from Immortal Bird. The album comes on the tail of their critically acclaimed 2013 EP Akrasia, which was mixed by none other than Converge mastermind Kurt Ballou. Empress/Abscess consists of a mere 5 songs spanning 31 breathless minutes of unbridled rage. From the crushing opening chords of “Neoplastic” to the avant noise unravelling of album closer “And Send Fire,” it manages to pummel the listener senseless and leave them, somehow, still wanting more. It is easily one of the best debut albums in the history of USBM.
Today’s Black Metal Friday track is “Neoplastic,” the aforementioned opening track of the new album. Check it out and if you like what you hear pick up a copy of the record. It’s a steal at only $4.95! You can thank me later.