Errant, the solo side project from Immortal Bird/Thrawsunblat artist Rae Amitay releases her debut EP this week, on April 3rd, 2020, via Manatee Rampage Records. Recorded by Pete Grossmann at Bricktop Recording in Chicago, Illinois, the EP includes three original songs and a cover of Failure‘s classic ‘Saturday Saviour,’ and Rae played everything (synth, guitar, bass, drums, screamed and sung vocals) herself. Pre-orders are live at the link below. Brooklyn Vegan is streaming the entire release now on their site right now!Continue reading →
Fans of the legendary Doom outfit Woods of Ypres (RIP David Gold) are aware of bands’ legacy in the North American Doom Metal scene. Former WoY members Joel Violette and Rae Amitay (Immortal Bird) have carried on a kinship through their work together in Thrawsunblat. More of a doom and Dark Folk side-project, it is their link to to the past and boldness to move forward which courses through fourth album IV: Great Brunswick Forest (Ignifera Records). Continue reading →
Blackened Folk Metal band Thrawsunblat has offered an update on their new album, Thrawsunblat IV: Great Brunswick Forest, due out this fall. Featuring members of Woods Of Ypres and Immortal Bird, the new album will be the follow-up to the acclaimed 2016 album Metachthonia and their 2018 Fires In The Mist EP. The band has started pre-orders via their Bandcamp page below. Continue reading →
Thrawsunblat initially started as a side-project of Wood of Ypres members Joel Violette and later, David Gold. Thrawsunblat became the Joel Violette’s main project since the passing of Gold and the end of Woods. Sadly, until being asked to review this I’d not heard anything by them, something which was rectified very quickly after hearing this.
Metachthonia (Ignifera Records/Broken Limbs) is their latest album and is released on Ignifera records. The title Metachthonia is Greek for “the age after that of the earth” and this concept album addresses that which we are yearning for and has been taken away in the modern world. Describing the style of the new album as ‘folkened black metal’ the anticipation is that Metachthonia shifts from their folk sound to a much blacker sound.
Opening track ‘Fires that Light the Earth’ begins sombrely with cello courtesy of Raphael Weinroth-Browne, before being joined by the guitar and drums which begin a short-lived lament but then branches into blackened blasting drums from Rae Amitay (Immortal Bird) and the bass of Brendan Hayter (Obsidian Tongue) and the tone for the album is set, and it is considerably blacker.
The folk elements and blackened parts juxtapose well, and give a better balance to their sound than before: emphasised by an ebb and flow to the track. The more subdued folk elements provide beauty and the enhanced blackened elements combining with excellent production which gives it an immediacy and a very satisfying sound.
Whilst very much a different band from Woods of Ypres, their enhanced blackened style creates sections where the similarities in tonality and pacing are very difficult to ignore. This can mean that if already familiar with woods it can take a few listens before appreciating Thrawsunblat in their own right. Those few listens however, are truly worth it as this album is incredibly well-crafted and a wonderful listen.
They display a much more palpable sense of optimism and rebirth in their work, which is further emphasised by the organic feel of the folk elements woven throughout. A yearning to what has been lost in the modern era and the desire for its return. The feeling being similar to seeing nature reclaiming abandoned places, that sense that no matter what the natural world can and will survive humans be damned.
Ultimately, Metachthonia is a fantastic album from opener ‘Fires that Light the Earth’ right up until the phenomenal final track ‘In Mist We Walk’, highly recommended!
In just a few short weeks this year is already proving to be full of tectonic level shifts in the musical and metaphysical landscape of our lives. We often start looking at the calendar for the next year of releases in late fall with a mix of anticipation and at times, bracing anxiety. Before we hear one note of new music, the questions start gnawing at us. What new alliances are formed? What new music to pick up first? What about my old favorite bands? Will anything challenge the status-quo of typical sub-genre doldrums. If your tastes are anything like ours, these questions can all be answered with two words: Eight Bells. Hailing mostly from Portland, OR and made up of members of SubArachnoid Space, Curezum, Immortal Bird, and Thrawsunblat; their musical make up is an uncommon mix of spacey psychedelic rock and brooding, otherworldly heaviness. Eight Bells kicked off 2016 with a string of shows to support their new album Landless out on February 12th from Battleground Records, one of the must hear underground releases 2016. Melynda Jackson and Haley Westeiner trade riffs and parts intermingle like a dank, earthy swamp. When they sing together, it’s outright majestic. Recent addition Rae Amitay brings in her considerable range behind the kit. In the run up of west coast dates before joining up with Voivod and Vektor across the rest of the country, we caught the trio at The Yucca Tap Room in Tempe, AZ. Their intimate show was captured here by Melina Dellamarggio of Melina D Photographyfor Ghost Cult.
Distinctly disturbing and beautifully harsh are words that best describe Chicago’s blackened death metal upstarts Immortal Bird. Although their debut release Akrasia (Closed Casket Recordings) has a scant four songs on it, the songs take the listener on an icy veined adventure to the soul. Running the gamut from classic black metal tropes, to modern death metal writing skills, a touch of thrash and some other impressive musical avenues too.
Masterminded by vocalist/drummer Rae Amitay (Thrawsunblat), she co-wrote all of the songs on guitar too, showing off her versatility in stepping out from behind her drum throne. Many times with projects like these, you get the impression the music is a foil for a singular vision, but the tight recording and strong performances of guitarist Evan Berry (Wilderun, Replacire)and bassist John Picillo sound like a true band. The production team of Jeff Ziolo, Kurt Ballou mixing at Godcity Studios, and mastering by Brad Boatright definitely eschews the no-fi tactics of most of the genre. The first track ‘Spitting Teeth’ exemplifies this approach with an unsettling guitar riff which gives way to a maelstrom of beats and screams. There are some great riffs and exciting tempo changes in this track that might be lost with lesser production values.
‘Ashen Scabland’ is just a hellish track. It definitely has an ebb and flow to it, with some mellower parts blunting the caustic slam of the thunderous drums. Fittingly the lyrics are equally as rough as the track, perfectly melding thoughts of regret and rage as much as the music does. ‘Akractic Seminar’ might almost be classified as avant-garde- blackened thrash and doom. The song kind of sneaks up on you with a discomforting tone. You get lulled by some discordant guitar work and a slight bit of clean singing, before getting your ears and your ass stomped in again. ‘The Pseudoscientist’ not only brings back the lyrical intellect, but being the shortest track on Akrasia, it has a sick urgency to it. The harrowing scream of pain at the halfway mark will curdle the blood of the toughest kvlt brood. The first flight of Immortal Bird is a bleak, but pleasing one.