Honestly, 2019 has been an amazing year for metal so far. We’ve had a run of great new releases these first six weeks. Happily, Chicago’s Immortal Bird keeps this year’s winning streak alive with their blisteringly incredible Thrive on Neglect, out now on 20 Buck Spin Records.
Thrive on Neglect is certainly aggressive, abrasive, cold and, at times, chaotic. At the same time, however, the musicianship is top-notch and vocalist, Rae, delivers an amazing performance. Just listen to the vocal on “Solace in Dead Structures” if you don’t believe me.
Immortal Bird is one of those bands that blends elements from a variety of genres. It’s got a heavy dose of grind and blackened death metal with a generous twist of crust… and yet also some prog. I also heard a touch of hardcore in there as well. While there is a lot going on and some may be skeptical of this wide array of sound – the result is really quite spectacular. This mix of sound allows the band to move beyond “boundaries” into a variety of domains. This means that each of the seven tracks is rather unique and stands on its own – quite clearly – yet there is still a common thread and rather unique, overarching sound that is woven throughout the entire record.
The opener, “Anger Breeds Contempt” sets the tone right from the beginning and you get a clear taste of what’s to come. It’s that lovely black metal inspired guitar, chunky bass and blasting drums – yet controlled and deliberate – without going too far off in one particular direction. Immortal Bird is heavy and fast but not simply to prove that they can play heavy and fast. Each section of this opener has a particular purpose that helps put together the whole, and every song on the record really uses this same formula. In essence, while Immortal Bird shows they can get as heavy as anyone, they also demonstrate why they don’t have to.
“Stumbling Toward Catharsis” gives us that paramount vocal over an array of time changes and various twists and turns in the song with some blast beat driven brutality and intense tremolo midway through the track. The song ultimately culminates in a perfect album closer with a “cathartic” crescendo in the last minute that just puts the perfect signature on this rather brilliant opus.
Here’s the reality – this record has so much to offer so many different types of metal listeners and this band just crushes it on this record. All seven tracks are very well done. Early contender for my Top 10 of 2019.
Thrive on Neglect is out now on 20 Buck Spin. Get it.
Check out our interview with Rae of Immortal Bird here.