The Pitch: Chicago blackened sludge/grind/whatever collective Immortal Bird finally follow up 2015's excellent Empress/Abscess with a new full length via 20 Buck Spin. FFO: Full Of Hell, Lord Mantis, Giant Of The Mountain
What I Like: "Vestigial Warnings" is a sick track and wise choice for the lead single. The contorting guitar riffs and endless blastbeats sound like Deathspell Omega meets Altarage, but with more than a hint of Gojira this time around. You read that right, Immortal Bird are stepping up their progressive game in a big way; one that represents a major step forward for the band's songwriting and excites me at the prospect of hearing more in the future. The proggy hooks continue with the likes of "Quisquilian Company," and there's even an unexpected little guitar solo towards the end of "Stumbling Toward Catharsis." I approve. But performance maturation aside, I've always defined Immortal Bird moreso by their crafting of intense moods and overall atmosphere of filth and decay ("Send Fire"). Thankfully, Thrive On Neglect continues to deliver on this promise with a wide range of emotions from bitter hostility to the increasingly mournful melodies of "Avolition." It's another dark chasm of callousness and despair.
Critiques: The first two tracks are a little lackluster when held up against the album as a whole. Comparatively, they feel clunky and simply fall short of the more dynamic and aspirational directions of the rest of the album. Not bad, but also not the best foot to lead with. I also kind of miss the more cavernous-sounding production of Empress/Abscess, especially on Rae's vocals.
The Verdict: Thrive On Neglect is an album that I have been looking forward to for over a year now, and it pleases me to say that it mostly lives up to expectations. Immortal Bird may take a few minutes to really get off the ground, but once they do rest assured it's a flight to remember.
Flight's Fav's: Vestigial Warnings, Quisquilian Company, Stumbling Toward Catharsis
- Review by FlightOfIcarus
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