Ilsa makes no secret of reveling in debauchery and exploitation flicks, so Intoxicantations is a perfectly clever title for the band's new album. The word-mash is a little hokey, like a B-movie with a lot of blood and bare-chested women, but still a line every metalhead or pulp comic-book writer will wish he'd thought of first. But even the most awesomely gruesome titles and covers need real guts (spilling out or otherwise), and with "Fluid Bound," the Washington, D.C., metal band drips with demented horror.
Throughout Intoxicantations and the group's previous record, Tutti il Colori del Buio, a hefty and mightily pissed-off hardcore attitude turns a neanderthal trudge into a furious zombie mosh — it's what sets Ilsa apart from the many Autopsy and Incantation worshipers out there. However, "Fluid Bound" maintains a gurgling death-metal-infested doom pace throughout, set off by a stadium-sized drum intro, which is in turn thrown off by a piercing squeal of feedback. Still, the rhythmic changes are subtle here, subdividing the blast beat and stretching mud-clod chords and hammered-on guitar solos over it all.
Intoxicantations comes out Nov. 23 on A389 Recordings. Given that Halloween is something of a metalhead's holiday, Ilsa's occult-obsessed metal might be a worthy addition to tonight's playlist.