Once again, a group bursts forth from the Chicago metal scene long after I have moved far, far away. Recorded in the windy city, mixed in NYC, Empress/Abscess is another wounded animal in the tradition of Indian and Lord Mantis, but with the grind elements of Dendritic Arbor. Immortal Bird are already making a name for themselves as up and comers across the online metal outlets, and we at Metal Trenches wanted to share the wealth before they blow up too big.
Boiled down to its core, Immortal Bird is much like a blackened Converge. I know I already said that about Bastard Feast, but it holds true in different ways here. You can hear the similar, distinctive guitar breaks on "The Sycophant" that emphasize the ferocity of the vocals. Thick, meaty distortion on the guitar and bass Ballou their way through punk rock chord progressions and lightning tremolo. There are fiery explosions of drums, dense blastbeats, and deluges of toms.
If you were to play High on Fire, Converge, Motorhead, and Gorgoroth simultaneously; it would sound a bit like Empress/Abscess. The sound is that big and equally depraved. There are also a few surprises to be found in the dynamic changes like the Dillinger-esque piano break in "To a Watery Grave." And second track, "Saprophyte" settles into an excellent pulsating combo of bass and drum with squealing guitars before jumping back into the pit with a downward spiral of chaos.
All said and done, it is no wonder why you are likely to see this album cover pop up across the interwebs. It just deserves it. Immortal Bird slinks its way in and out of sludgy grooves, grim plucking, and hardcore d-beats like it ain't no thang. Just have fun with it and find $6 to throw their way. It's an easy investment, and your ears will thanks you for years to come.