Deadbird – III: The Forest Within The Tree (2018)

Hailing from Arkansas, we have the third album from Deadbird, simply entitled III. Not everything needs to be Starfire Burning Upon The Ice-Veiled Throne Of Ultima Thule so I’m thankful for their simplicity here. Led Zeppelin seems to have felt the same way. Since this is Arkansas, of course this is doom-influenced and I’m happy to say that we love our goddamned grooves in this state. They go well with bowls and whatever else we live to do around these parts. In any case, the guys really knock it out of the park with “Luciferous Heart” which seems to combine fine touches of melody with fierce torrents of doom, and what sounds like fierce howling winds in the harsh vocals. That sounds great, I’d see it live for sure. And when you go to one of these doom shows, you can literally feel the reverberations from the instruments, sending soundwaves right through your body – it’s almost like an out-of-body experience at times. This album won’t do that justice, so just remember that you’re getting only half the show here. Problem is, it’s going to be much harder to hear the cleans on “Heyday” which almost bring me back to Alice In Chains. You can definitely tell they’re an influence. There’s a light bit of acoustic featured here, as well as what almost sounds like a machine whirring. That’s pretty cool, I think it sets up a unique thoughtspace within the music. However, that envelops into an all-out solo fest that I’d love to see pulled off right in front of my face. Yes folks, Arkansas has some great bands. Don’t count us out because we’re the armpit of America. We definitely know our doom, and if you haven’t learned that already, then you’re just plain ignorant.

“Alexandria” is decent enough, but I feel that it takes a bit too long to get to the meat, which is in the chorus. It’s a bit a stripped as far as length is concerned. “11:34” is a night-time instrumental, complete with crickets and light acoustic strumming. I also hear what sounds like a helicopter in the background. Maybe someone’s running from the government. But joke’s on you, you CAN’T run from the government. It’s always there, inside your coffee cup, listening through your TV (yes, that’s actually a real thing – check out the Samsung controversy) checking out your refrigerator and rummaging through your underwear. I had to chase a suit out of my house the other day, because he was going through my sock drawer. Go on you, get back to the Pentagon!

The Grim Lord’s stinky socks aside, “Brought Low” feels like a dirtier version of Pallbearer, albeit with a nice Acid Bath feel in the harsh vocals. You could also compare it to Rwake. Whatever the case, I’m definitely digging it. And again, whoever is responsible for the tiny sound effects that I’m hearing here and there really makes a difference. These effects add depth to the performance. Deadbird isn’t going industrial, they’re just adding a few electronic whirls to build substance. “Bone & Ash” brings on the last bit, and it’s quite meaty. The track begins with a vocal approach that comes off as heavy and crunchy as it’s grooves, which is unique as it is rare to hear a band’s heaviest number as their closer. As I am not able to recall the previous records, but would assume them to be raw and barbarous; I would assume that fans of the band’s previous work would enjoy this one more so than the others, but I am not completely sure of that. I can only state that this is the heaviest cut that III has to offer and you can only take it or leave it at that point. I don’t really get the idea of “Ending” as it is too short to matter, but I do enjoy the UFO beaming portion as experienced in the synths. Once again, Deadbird are not going industrial and aren’t resorting to synthwave (yet). But they are definitely adding some intrigue with these electronic samples.

All in all, fans of experimental doom won’t be disappointed with this one and Deadbird is really showing their strengths here, which makes them a standout act. I definitely feel that there is something unique here, even if it is merely in the synths. I mean, no one else is doing that right now in our state at least; but Bleak Bill said he’s been considering it since I’m aiming for an industrial feel with our next disc, which hopefully comes out before some major economic collapse. In any case, you’re really going to have to experience this stuff live in order to truly feel this recording. Maybe you’ll grasp something from the disc, but I just don’t think that anything compares to a live series of reverberating thumps when you’re experiencing doom metal.

Deadbird prove that they’re an act to watch out for and I’m not saying all of this just because they’re locals. I’m simply stating the facts. Give the record a listen at the link below and tell me what you think. Now give me a minute while I chase this government agent out of my underwear drawer. Get out of there, you! You people are worse than rats! Did you know that I found a cigarette butt in my coffee this morning? And I don’t even smoke!

(8 Tracks, 38:00)

8.7/10

Purchase HERE (Bandcamp)

8.7

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