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Ilsa - Corpse Fortress

Corpse Fortress
by Marcos "Big Daddy" Garcia at 13 April 2018, 3:22 AM

Some recording labels have a feature: when you see their names on a release, you can have a clear idea of what kind of band waits for you. But don’t get me wrong: you have an idea, but not can foresee all that will come. Relapse Records has a long relationship with extreme Metal/Hardcore bands, and the North American quintet ILSA is one of them. But pay attention, because “Corpse Fortress” can be a bit different of what you might have expected.

They play as brutal and raw as those ancient Death Metal bands from the 90’s, but not as simple as my words can seem. Some Doom Death Metal influences can be heard, along nasty Sludge and Stoner touches. The tempos are slow and oppressive in the greater part of time, creating a Funeral Doom Metal atmosphere, but with the aggressive insight and rawness from Old School Death Metal. Their music is nothing as new as it could be, but it’s good. Kevin Bernsten worked on the recording sessions, and Brad Boatright did the mastering of the songs. All to create an Old School insight, with a crude and putrid sound quality, but not as bad as my words could mean (rawness doesn’t mean that the songs can’t be understood), and it’s truly heavy and brutal.

Without using an excessive technical approach, ILSA knows how to create an oppressive atmosphere and heavy songs, and the best ones are “Hikikomori” with its very good guitars, the excellent CELTIC FROST’s influences that can be heard on “Nasty, Brutish”, the slow mammoth with bone crushing tempos called “Prosector” (that shows a very good work from bass guitar and drums), the bitter slowness of “Long Lost Friend”, and the oppressive atmosphere that “Drums of Dark Gods” shows. And the album has two invited guests: Lasse Pyykkö playing lead guitars on “Long Lost Friend”, and some additional vocals of KC Oden on “Old Maid”.

ILSA is a good band, and “Corpse Fortress” can crush some bones!

Originality: 8
Songwriting: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Hikikomori
2. Nasty, Brutish
3. Cosmos Antinomos
4. Prosector
5. Old Maid
6. Long Lost Friend
7. Rückenfigur
8. Polly Vaughn
9. Drums of Dark Gods
Orion - Vocals
Brendan - Guitars
Tim - Guitars
Sharad - Bass
Joshy - Drums
Record Label: Relapse Records


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Edited 22 March 2019

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