Birds In Row -Cottbus
Record Label: Throatruiner Records
Release Date: October 2010
Within sunless forests is where the less than ordinary birds perch -- you know the type: they coalesce in grand numbers and chirp flatly in unison. And yet it’s still soothing, because they are birds after all. But don't let their calming reputation fool you. Birds In Row are v-lining an ambitiously long flight from Laval, France with a darkly brooding mystique nestled in between their feathers. And these birds are the total opposite of soothing. They are falcons of crust-core in migration for shelter from a cutthroat world.
As the night sky transitions into hues of rose and copper gold we know very well that the first track has begun on Cottbus, the follow up to the band’s Phoenix 7”. The intro of “Among The Ashes” is not a rebellious kick off but rather slow and druggy, bracing us for depressing news via gloomy twangs, but only for the moment. Immediately we're thrust into an infectiously snappy and headbang worthy rhythm that topples the cold reality topsy-turvy, and from this point forward, we are on the lookout for more unexpected stunts of creativity.
We become acquainted with “The Ace Of Fools” midway through, whose initial riff projects a ripple-effect across a shaky platform of aggressive drumbeats. It seems to be a resilience test for the uptight stiffs and the bored, penetrating every nook and cranny of sanity in the form of wiry and uncontrollably screeching guitars. It is heavy. It is dark. And at every pulsating moment, there is raw momentum gripping the heart of production that is nearly palpable in every song, from the collective of clamoring pangs to cathartic fury. As for the band members themselves they are an exorcist’s worst nightmare, poised to jerk and mangle with the gravity of their words and grimly constructed chords.
Now, once “Words of Asaroth” beelines down an even more daring avenue of rickety drum rolls stuck in tonal warfare between apathy and seriousness, its attention call only just begins to gets interesting. The neck gripping trap-them-and-kill-them snarls of lead singer Bart are direct mappings to a darkened tunnel of his emotional flair. It closely resembles the calloused knuckles of a fed-up Dennis Lyxcen (Refused): “There's one world where one word could have made things live and move from the most static state // Engrave it on your cold desperate heart, and start looking for a change.” And to the song's well deserved credit, the shrill cries found in “Aemaeth” are the long lost sibling to the final minutes in “New Noise”.
So for the first time in awhile, I reacquainted myself with a full pack of assorted throat lozenges for emotionally driven scream alongs. The spell of laryngitis settled down in time for the smooth acoustic contrast "Outro", which somehow fit the suit of blaring songs. As such, it's easy to see that Birds In Row aren't interested in fitting in with the rest of the exhibitionist metalheads; they're circling a territory made for their own.