This album is just plain out filthy and will have you happily wallowing in the mire of brilliant Sludged-out Doom for its entirety. Based in Arkansas, DEADBIRD unleash on us their 2nd album “Twilight Ritual” with all its rough-hewn edges intact and the slime of all of it is a delight to be covered in.
This is buckets of huge riffs city, with no limits on the absolutely crushing power that one expects from a band who ply their trade in the muddy river of thick chops all over the musical spectrum. “Into The Clearing”, after a moment of feedback, gets straight to the point with a juicy riff laid down for those who pray at the altar of stirring Doom and choking vocals. After the initial wave of vigour attacks, the band slow down to a mild tempo for a few seconds, only then to speed up to a nice, face smashing gallop and then ending with a dirge of crushing weight. This is not for those who like their Doom clean but slow; no hear you get down and dirty with even some Southern trimmings thrown in on guitar licks here and there.
The songs on “Twilight Ritual” don’t so much play out as they steamroll over you, digging at a blackened soul with ugly sounds that are a delight to anyone who loves this crunchy genre. Throughout the album DEADBIRD mix in shades of light with their tidal waves of crashing might. Some melody is melded with cleaner, reverb vocals that ease the mind but only for brief episodes between beautifully crunching chords and digging drums and bass.
If classic Doom is your want then be forewarned that “Twilight Ritual” is not that beast, but a rolling mammoth of chunky and distorted, slow and pounding, take no prisoners Sludge and grime. Even in the slightly sped up beginnings of “Feral Flame”, the sound of music stuck in boot-sucking mud is right at its essence, and is gripping in its own gravity. After this the band go on to pull you down in stark, wallowing riffage and an atmosphere of seeming jamming solos and loose melodies, yet again they never lose their plundering grasp. “Twilight Ritual” is the Doom of the year so far and I haven’t stopped listening to its compressing battery for weeks now.
(Online July 26, 2008)