Washington DC's ILSA return with the follow up to 2010's Tutti il Colori del Buio, with Intoxicantations; a true example of real crossover, merging metal, hardcore, sludge, you name it.
Harking back to the days when death metal and hardcore mixed effortlessly, this is filthy, downtuned noise just the way Thee Claw likes it;
brooding passages punctuated with bursts of feedback and death growls.
The cover art of a tiger downing a bad trip whilst lines of maggots are prepared should give you some idea of what's in store for you when you listen to the album.
The title track is a grinding juggernaut of a song, with stunning double-kick drumming from Joshy, there are even some black metal influences on show here, where Brendan and Garret hold the guitars back and Orion's voice reverberates over the rhythm section.
Deadbeat's Ballad is a punkier, more in your face track, where your head starts nodding along and your feet start to stamp, followed by Man-made Monsters, a more metallic track which brings to mind sweaty gigs in small clubs when you'd see a band you hadn't heard before and they'd blow you away whilst you tried to figure out where they were coming from, reminds me of dISEMBOWELMENT in places, and musically even the good old demo days of the unholy English trinity of Anathema, My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost.
Striding across all of it is some outstanding bass work from Sharad, real speaker-shaking bottom end.
The album ends with a one two of Martyrs and Skin and Bone, the former is another stomping, crusty anthem with some metallic riffs that will send crowds mental, the latter being a doomy, crawling number at the start, that the drums join at around the two minute mark to create a nasty, lumbering beast of a track with a hauntingly atmospheric guitar solo, before becoming complete Whitehouse-style noise that cuts off suddenly and is replaced with the sound of an air raid siren.
Take heed, Ilsa mix together all aspects of the underground and may well be one of the bands of 2013.
Out now on a389 Recordings.