I’m finding out that it’s harder to write a review about a person I admire, considering that I’ve started and deleted this review four times already. The name of the person that has impressed me time and time again is Rae Amitay. I admire her writing skills. In 2011, while surfing the internet looking for metal music news, I came across Rae‘s fantastic album reviews. For the next couple of years she was one of the reviewers that helped direct me to albums I might want to check out. I also admire Rae‘s talent at playing the drums. Amitay plays drums for the melodic/folk black metal band, Thrawsunblat, and in March of 2013 they released the amazing album “Wanderer On the Continent of Saplings.” Her skill behind the drum kit was a major reason why the album ended up #5 on my “Top 15 albums of 2013 list.” So when found out that Rae Amitay had formed a new band, Immortal Bird, and their new EP, “Akrasia” was being released in December, I made sure to download it as fast as I could.
With Amitay on drums, joined by John Picillo on bass and Evan Berry on guitar, the Chicago trio has created something special. In every song there is a fusion of black and death metal with traces of doom. The first track, ‘Spitting Teeth,’ sets the tone with massive guitar riffs with and heavy bass line grooves. Every time I listen to the beginning of the next track, ‘Ashen Scabland,’ I imagine a thousand enraged bees swarming in my headphones ready to attack my eardrums at any second. Just when you think your head is going to explode, the tempo slows and you are treated to a brief wonderful guitar solo. But hold on to your hat, as the last two minutes of the song shifts into a higher gear which, when finished, left me exhausted and ecsastic at the same time.
Now is a good time to talk about Rae Amitay‘s role on this EP. Amitay impressed me once again with her ability to dominate the drum kit, but there is one other thing that is equally impressive – she is also Immortal Bird‘s vocalist. Her voice is extraordinary throughout the EP, but the song that I think that best displays her vocal range is “Akratic Seminar.” It starts out with beautiful clean vocals, but she takes a intense dark turn with brutal rusty nail gargling growls that sends a shiver up my spine. I have to say, after reading the lyrics for “Akrasia,” I had flashbacks to when I was a child hiding under my bed because I had just watched a horror movie. The last track, ,’The Pseudoscientist,’ I am putting in my “Top 10 songs of 2013.” I think it displays the best of what every member brings to the table, and for the past month there is a killer riff in this song that has been playing in my mind over and over.
So would I say “Akrasia” is good? No, I would say it is nineteen minutes of metal greatness. I know that when I listen to the EP I can feel the blood, sweat, tears it took to make it, and that is why “Akrasia” is receiving my vote for “EP of the Year.” Please go pick this one up, I promise you won’t be sorry. So I would like to thank Evan Berry, John Picillo and Rae Amitay, and wish them continued success.