My instinct when listening to Immortal Bird's "Empress/Abscess" is to steadily keep hitting that volume up button. Every time. I don't notice I'm doing it until the song ends and — holy shit, why are my ears ringing? It took me a few spins of the Chicago band's debut full-length to realize why it's happening: There's a lot going on — a lot of dark, ferocious beauty to dissect — and it's compulsive to turn it up to capture it all. Immortal Bird starts at blackened death metal, but there's sludge, thrash, crust, and a little prog thrown into the mix — also the word "greasy" gets tossed around a lot. There's a brutal mass of powerful sub-genres and influences swirling around, and Immortal Bird beats it all into its will.