FFO: Hooded Menace, Asphyx, Temple of Void, Genocide Pact, Boar Worship
When it comes to band productivity, few death metal bands have had a decade as productive and busy as Ilsa. The D.C. band have relentlessly released and toured every subsequent year which has culminated in the release of the bands fifth studio album ‘Preyer’.
Now, Ilsa are not your regular run of the mill death metal band with their foot to the floor singing about dismembering corpses. In fact, quite far from it, what the listener gets with ‘Preyer’ is a death metal album that has distorted, heavy guitars and powerful downbeats that contain touches of death/doom and crust all delivered through a sludgy overtone that would appeal to fans of Asphyx, Hooded Menace and Temple of Void. This is all packaged up and neatly delivered through an enjoyable production that allows each instrument to sing, particularly in the bottom register where if loud enough, the bass and guttural vocals threaten to the shake the very foundations of the house. Yet, ‘Preyer’ is not initially grabbing and it does take a few listens to really appreciate the thematically dark lyrics that are present within that really do push tracks such as ‘Widdershins’, ‘Moonflower’ and ‘Behind the Veil’ to the forefront of this album.
However, as an album, ‘Preyer’ doesn’t really contain anything that the listener will not have heard before, there are no surprises here and ultimately nothing that leaves a truly lasting impression. But, that does not make this album any less enjoyable whilst it is playing and while ‘Preyer’ will not win any accolades, Ilsa can be proud of the fact that they have delivered another decent album of metal that is honest, passionate and full of integrity.