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Apparently metal is dead and what we’re left with is “post-metal”, whatever that means. Ireland’s Ilenkus are said to be part of this genre and what it seems to be is progressive metal, which makes a bit more sense and won’t give word nerds a headache. Comparisons have apparently been drawn to the likes of Mastodon, Isis and Tool, which I think is a fairly accurate overview. Even from the first listening you get a definitely Isis vibe and that’s perfect timing really, as they’ve gone so there’s a gap in the market – huzzah!

‘Rule by Thieves’ is a lo-fi offering that they describe as being “roomy and natural, live sounding and refreshingly inexpensive”. Overly wordy excuses aside, the low production values on the album do actually work and it is nice to hear a progressive piece of music that isn’t overly polished and slick. It might be “roomy and natural” but each layer and component of music can still be heard. The opening track, ‘The Jig’, sounds like it’s been lifted from a Mastodon album in terms of the riffs if nothing else. It’s been very well written and there are some lovely bass and drum parts throughout, especially when the band strip away the heaviness and just let the music speak for itself. ‘Kelptocracy’ has a more up-tempo vibe but still retains the progressive edge with disjointed riffs that are reminiscent of SikTh at times.

After the first few tracks, you might think that you know what to expect from the album and the band but they’ve thought this through, this wasn’t just thrown together. The opening to ‘Phoenix’ is electronic in sound and almost unexpected for a metal album. It works very nicely both as a track and as a break in the album and it doesn’t even make the album seem jarred, which could be an easy trap to fall into. It’s an impressive effort for a debut album and it’ll be interesting to hear what they do next and how they forge their own sound. As impressive as it may be, a lot of the elements seem to be lifted from their predecessors but doubtless the rest will come in time. If you’re a fan of progressive metal then it’s definitely worth a punt.
Savour Your Scene Records
Review by Siân Williams
December 2011
1) The Jig
2) Kleptocracy
3) Dr Jekyl
4) Phoenix
5) Pompeii (The Butcher)
6) Cerebral Anomaly
7) Mayhem
8) Great Divide
"...the low production values on the album do actually work and it is nice to hear a progressive piece of music that isn’t overly polished and slick."