A389 never ceases to blow my mind with great new recordings that just shatter the underground. These guys are on the cutting edge crafting tracks that you can't help but admire. The Felon's Claw is just the latest example of this - ten tracks of doom infused crust punk madness. There is something distinctly evil about a band as evil as Ilsa, I remember seeing them at the A389 Bash and being stunned simply by how fucked up they were. Things don't get much more oppressively than what Ilsa have done here, and that's a good thing.
Part of the appeal of The Felon's Claw for me is that it brings together a wealth of stellar qualities from various segments of the American metal underground and fuses it into something profound. There is a sense of repugnant terror that defines this record too - it provides a very real sense of depth to the crushing brutality of a track like Katabasis, a nearly nine minute long epic that pummels the listener into submission. There is nothing about Ilsa that isn't wholly legitimate and gloriously evil - and that's what makes it so fascinating. Hailing from a fucked up city from an even more fucked up country (albeit - based in the city that controls said country) Ilsa understand the depths of depravity, and they aren't afraid to share it with the world.
Ilsa will melt your flesh and make no allusions as to their pure hatred of mankind. It ends up being rather cathartic, guiding the listener towards a glorious oblivion as he gasps for breath. That being said, the grooves here are palatable and suggest that Ilsa are surprisingly listenable. Considering how well they stand up to repeat listens it wouldn't be a stretch to say that Ilsa might be kings of the underground in a surprisingly short time. They function as a conglomeration of all we love and come out greater because of it.
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