This is another record I picked up on our recent trip to Ireland. Ilenkus are a five-piece self-described post metal/hardcore band from Galway, and The Crossing (2014) is their second full length release. The album is self-released and the vinyl version is limited to only 100 copies according to their Bandcamp page. They did a great job with the packaging for a self-released product – James Sheridan’s cover art is top notch and the inner sleeve is on thick, glossy stock and includes lyrics for all five songs. Quality.
The opening track “Devourer” punches you in the nose right from the start – The Crossing opens hard and fast, not giving you any opportunity to ease into it. That’s not to say the entire album is one big assault on your ears, though; like any post metal band worth their chops Ilenkus know how to incorporate quiet passages into their music, such as the opening to “Goodbye Denial,” which is driven by piano… but slowly builds… and builds… and before you know it you’re in the middle some heavy hardcore. Their composition and flow imply a band that is confident in their musical vision. “Over the Fire, Under the Smoke” has a killer guitar intro and may be the most metal (i.e. least hardcore) song on the album.
The Crossing is available for you to check out in its entirety HERE. My personal recommendations are “The Crossing” and “Goodbye Denial,” which not coincidentally also both include some quiet passages. Longer, full-on hardcore songs sometimes wear me down, and having the slower intros and/or interludes seems to help me gain some feeling for the song. Mind you, that’s me; your experience is possibly quite different. But regardless of how you like your metal, there’s something for just about every metalhead on The Crossing.