Receiving the Evcharist is our weekly feature where we pair choice albums with our favorite libations. Drink from the cup of heresy. This week’s offering: Immortal Bird’s Thrive On Neglect and Russian River Brewing Company’s Sanctification.
The Metal: Immortal Bird’s Thrive on Neglect
Lots of bands, in the modern age of metal especially, defy genre conventions, but very few do so as aggressively as Chicago’s Immortal Bird. The group’s ‘Kick No Idea Out of Bed’ songwriting mentality blends elements of black metal, death metal, crust, and progressive touches to create one of the more unique musical identities I’ve heard in a long time, and on Thrive On Neglect, the group’s latest offering and first for new label home 20 Buck Spin, these elements are honed to a razor point. Across the album’s seven songs, Immortal Bird conjure up the sonic equivalent of being eroded by a sandstorm, the unrelenting assault of the music here channeling a spirit of pure frustration and rage as the songs wind serpentine through blast beats, off-kilter prog sections, and hardcore breakdowns. “There is only so much I can take / There is only so much left to say” roars vocalist Rae Amitay during the closing section of the album’s final track “Stumbling Toward Catharsis,” which perfectly sums up what makes Thrive On Neglect such a vital listen. Beyond the stellar musicianship, there is a real emotional undercurrent to these songs that humanizes them; there really is only so much more Immortal Bird can take, and that brutal honesty spills out from the edges of everything they have done here, and resonates with the listener in a tangible way. Thrive on Neglect is a deeply affecting album, and one that I’ve been hotly looking forward to since its initial announcement. Having sat with it now for some time, it’s easily surpassed my expectations, and is a perfect example of why I reach for this band first when giving examples of the kind of musical talent my home town can produce.
The Booze: Russian River Brewing Company’s Sanctification
We’re going back down to funky town for today’s beer. Sanctification is another in Russian River Brewing Company’s spontaneous series, much like their Damnation I talked up earlier. Sanctification is a sour ale fermented with Brettanomyces yeast, a pretty common strain of yeast that gives ales a distinctive fruity, floral, and tart character. Sanctification delivers on this promise; more akin to a saison or farmhouse ale than a true sour, the beer is slightly tart and crisp with a good amount of apple and pear fruit notes and yeasty, floral funk on the finish. Russian River does good work, and here is no exception.
Cheers, and be good to each other,