Immortal Bird – Akrasia (Closed Casket Recordings)

Sunday, 8th December 2013
Rating: 9/10

Despite the awkward and slightly goofy name, Immortal Bird’s debut is anything but.  Started by Rae Amitay (Thrawsunblat) as a way to get out from behind the drum kit, she’s joined by Evan Berry (of the equally wicked Wilderun and Replacire) and John Picillo.  Anyone expecting something folky should probably prepare themselves for impact, as this is much more viscerally aggressive and a far heavier beast.

Immortal Bird may be “rooted” in black metal for categorization’s purpose, but truthfully it’s all over the map.  Not in that messy, “I’m not sure what style I’m going for” way, but more of a smooth integration of some of the best extreme metal has to offer (you know the drill: death/thrash/progressive/etc etc).  The production is suitably gritty but audible enough to enjoy the occasional riff feast.  The 20 minutes you sign on for will be punchy, straight-for-the-throat slabs of metal with enough variation and melody that you’ll be hard-pressed not to reach for the play button once (or twice) more.

With Immortal Bird’s genre-sprawling sound, the four tracks presented all carry a bit of their own personality.  Opener “Spitting Teeth” (who’s name automatically redeems any favor lost from the band’s name) sets the tone with it’s driving, blasting tone giving way to a few, slower portions with fitting melodies to keep things afloat.  “Ashen Scabland” has some dizzying riffing to open up only to recede into a more melodic and relaxed middle that features a nicely triumphant lead before returning to the opening chaos.  “Akratic Seminar” is the most dynamic of the bunch.  There are a few clean vocals during the more mellow opening that works as a slow build to some sonically intense black metal sections before returning full circle to some more acoustics towards the end.  Finally, “The Pseudoscientist” is a relentless piece of vitriol with a main riff sure to induce a broken neck.

Akrasia shows a band with a ton of potential.  Evan Berry continues to prove his worth as a monster riff generator, and Rae is equally impressive with her menacing screams and ability to blast behind the kit.  For a dark and menacing extreme metal release that’s equal parts devastating and memorable, you won’t find much better.  Full length please!

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