I guess they’re back from the dead? Roughly 10 years since their last album, Arkansas outfit Deadbird, featuring a few guys from Rwake and the current bassist of The Obsessed, has returned with their third full-length installment of southern-fried sludge, offering up eight tracks in a little under 40 minutes. Fans of Rwake, or even YOB, should find something to like here.
After a two-minute intro (“The Singularity”), anchored by classical guitar, the album gets properly underway with “Luciferous Heart.” The opening riff is clean, with a classic rock sheen, yet still undeniably heavy. There are shades of Iron Tongue (another Rwake side project) here, along with some 90’s grunge à la Alice in Chains, but the overall effect is still pretty doomy—particularly with the slow ‘n heavy guttural section that kicks in after five minutes.
Despite its eight-minute runtime, “Heyday” wastes no time in getting down to business, with a jaunty, proggy post-sludge journey that kinda reminds me of the first couple Black Pyramid records, albeit with a softer section that starts just shy of the midway mark, before ending on a gloomier, Pallbearer note. The soaring chorus of “Alexandria” is a bit of an earworm, before the melancholy sorrow of “Brought Low” brings things down a notch—a solid blend of traditional and gothic doom complete with angst-ridden vocals. “Bone and Ash” picks things up to frantic hardcore punk around the three-minute mark, before delivering a devastating breakdown less than a minute later, before the band goes out on an eerie instrumental note (“Ending”).
In the absence of any new Rwake output (whatever happened to those guys?) this should certainly tide us over.