Their own promo calls Ilenkus “post-metal/hardcore”, but I’ve also heard them mentioned in the same breath as prog and there’s definitely an influence there as well. The Crossing is due for release on September 15th and I’ve had a chance to listen to it over the last week or so, to find out how those influences gel.
Pretty well, in fact. In my opinion, it takes a decent set of musicians to make prog of any type or offshoot worth listening to. I often find it rather disjointed, crushing pieces of song together that have no right to be that close – like sitting Ted Nugent next to your strictly vegan cousin at a dinner party.
Ilenkus have pulled it off with this release, enabling them to show both an incredibly fierce post-hardcore side and hugely chilled-out and melodic prog stylings. The two don’t clash so much as merge. The title track is a prime example, with one style taking the lead only to build up to the other. A crossover section occurs, heavy guitars burst forth… and then the undercurrent of the more laid back earlier section seems to push back through and infuse with the soaring anger.
There are only five tracks, but songwriting, musicianship and production can’t be called into fault on any of them.
You can check out the video for “Over the Fire, Under the Smoke” below. It’ll give you an idea of what I’m talking about. It’s also a pretty cool video, shot in one take and featuring scores of rather bemused shoppers…