Washington, D.C. doom bringers Ilsa dropped their mauling sixth full-length, Preyer, via Relapse Records.
On Preyer, Ilsa embraces sonic pummeling like never before. Recorded as the world shuttered away in 2020, the band harnessed the fears and uncertainties of troubled times and used these as driving forces for their unnerving metal’s raw, chaotic, and whipping intensity. The result is a new full-length that delivers overdoses of crushing doom and menacing death metal.
Ilsa Full-length Preyer
The ghost of the Satanic murderer Sean Sellers still haunts Ilsa. The notorious killer was the first and remains the only person executed in the U.S. for a crime committed under the age of seventeen since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976. “These songs were written with his life in mind,” the band states. “Sean’s story is an exploitative intersection of religious, media, and state authority, culminating in his 1999 execution for murders committed in a state of self-described ‘Demonic Possession.'”
View the band’s recently issued video for “Shibboleth”
But make no mistake, Preyer is not simply a narrative or concept album. Remaining true to Ilsa’s punk ethos, Preyer serves as a cathartic condemnation of a Christo-fascist society, a corrupt class dimension, and the evil cruelty behind it all. “Preyer is a wringing of these themes for the sweat and stink. Power’s destructive force, love, and other extremist positions, religious fanaticism, depression and mental illness, social order, and control.” In the midst of the darkness that continues to take hold, Ilsa remain observant and pull no punches. With tracks such as “Poor Devil,” “Shibboleth,” and the album’s title track, the band are poised to release one of the year’s most vicious offerings from the underground.
“Ripping, burning, and pissing on a page out of Church Of Misery, equally sludge and doom-drunk Ilsa pull back the tarp on their own harrowing splatter platter in Preyer… Orion Peter’s tortured shriek lays in unmistakable spirit possession…” – Decibel Magazine
“…a sludge-infused sonic can of filth… They take all d-tuned genres and morph them into a putrid audio tapestry that weaves everything from d-beat to blues to rock ‘n’ roll into the fabric of their songs… ILSA’s songs are caustic storms of hate…” – Cvlt Nation
“…as heavy as a slab of bricks, but all that evil and abrasion is balanced out by some seriously melodic riffage. Sludge fans are not gonna wanna miss this one…” — BrooklynVegan
“…if you have a hankering for doom/sludge/death that is relentlessly heavy and downbeat, Preyer is here to satisfy.” – Rebel Extravaganza
“The vocals on every track sound like the world depends on the message getting through… The lead work is penetrating, and the rhythm sets solid steel railing… a welcome addition to the band’s burgeoning canon. Recommended.” – Flying Fiddlesticks
“Tracks like ‘Moonflower’ and ‘Mother Of God’ have doom as the prevalent style with moments of death metal, while songs such as ‘Shibboleth’ have quick tempos and a lot of groove, driven by Ilsa’s three guitar attack. No matter the musical approach, Orion’s fierce harsh vocals add extra edge to the proceedings. The band shifts smoothly between styles, making for a varied yet cohesive album.” – Heavy Music Headquarters
“Ilsa will crack your skull open and drink the fluid. They will punish you with heaviness and remind you time and time again why they are among the best. They have found some of the most twisted and wonderfully dark music within themselves and birthed it out of the misery of quarantine.” – Two Guys Metal Reviews
Feature Photo by Maire O’Sullivan