“Fascinating” is a suitable term to describe the balance of this E.P and this is not only relevant to the fine sanding of the engineered sound. The placement of the tonal elements in the room is captivating, which makes it impossible for the listener to escape, not that the listener should complain – Ilenkus is one of those bands that have the capability to easily adopt stylistic breaches and yet manage to glue all those crafting blocks together in a coherent way, so the outcome is not as puzzling as a dadaistic artefact but rather very exciting. Hunger was recorded, engineered and mixed by Aidan Cunningham (Murdock) and mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege (The Armed, Sunn 0))), Nails, Old Man Gloom).
For a person who appreciates a lot of exerted thought in meticulous work, the details on this EP are highly enjoyable. Whispers in between your ears, the sounds of a human in vital distress and samples of screams hint that Ilenkus enjoy experimenting with noise, instrumental sounds and unforeseen cuts and twists.
The opener, ‘Hunny Bunny’ is quite condensed and a mathcore vibe is prevalent. There is just enough room left for borderline sane, counterbalancing grooves which help to establish order in toenail curling chaos. Bands like Converge and The Dillinger Escape Plan spring to mind. ‘Pretty Secret’ is a fine example of how drastic Ilenkus can turn in pace and style. A throbbing rhythm and groove are what gives this song a flavoring that dances with post-hardcore spices on the tip of your tongue. The following track ‘Exhume’ has that black metal pulse, which scrapes on the walls of your mind. Again, an unforeseen yet witty twist is keeping it interesting: Ilenkus welds hardcore recitative vocals and post-metal elements into the vessel. This and the dominating riff make it sound like a progression from the previous track. ‘The Romantic’ thins down the density of this exuberant EP, and picks up rhythmical curious aspects which wrap the call and response action between vocals and instruments. Again, this track is a neat example of the band’s versatility.
Hunger meets you in a place of nothingness but instead of defeating to nihilism, Ilenkus induce that sense of inner strength and stubbornness to pull through. It truly is an EP that leaves you craving more.
Hunger is due for release digitally on 19/10/16.
A limited edition 7″ red vinyl will be released late Autumn/Winter in conjunction with WOOAAARGH, Smiths Food Group DIY, Tjueto Cvlt, Icore Produzioni, Vollmer Industries and Feast Records. 5/5
For more information on ILENKUS, please click this link.
© Overdrive, 2016