Tutti Il Colori Del Buio
posted on 5/2011 By:
Let me come clean from the get-go: I decided to review this record solely based on the band’s name. That’s because I'm pretty sure that these guys are name-checking the infamous ‘70s quartet of Ilsa sexploitation movies, which really pushed the envelope of bad taste and sick fun back in the day. (Of course, I don’t want you to think that I spend my time watching such trashy movies all the time; but, after the 20th viewing of Tarkovski’s Stalker or Bergman’s Persona or Taviani Brothers’ Chaos, such films as Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS or Ilsa, Harem-Keeper of the Oil Sheiks can work as a palate-cleaner…).
Anyway, armed with such a name and referencing another semi-obscure ‘70s giallo/horror movie in the title of their second record, Ilsa seems hell-bent on making the listener squirm uncomfortably while listening to them. Freely influenced by such sick masterminds as Eyehategod, Winter, Bolt Thrower, Deviated Instinct, early Entombed and other early purveyors of death/doom and crust/d-beat/hardcore, Ilsa concocts here a really brutal and assaultive brew of sound that can easily endear them to fans of uncompromising extremity, while pushing back anyone with even a minimal interest in melody and approachability.
The nine songs to be found herein (by the way, the record title means “All the Colours of the Dark”) are angry, devastating slabs of stone-age death metal, combined with detours into desperate doom and rabid-wolverine-styled hardcore; in one phrase, this is one hell of a pissed-off record. The production is rawer than a festering wound; the guitars don’t even approach anything with a semblance of a melody, instead spewing forth detuned boulders of almost-atonal riffs, while the drums pound and pound and pound some more with caveman-on-crack ferocity. As for the vocals, Orion spends the 40 minutes of the record screaming painfully and probably needs a set of new vocal chords after every song.
This shit is brutal to the core, which, in my humble opinion, is ultimately the downfall of the record: after a while, the songs blur into one another, in an undifferentiated sludge of hatred and anger. The “no-rest-at-all” attitude of the band ends up making the record very draining and, when all’s said and done, tiresome. There’s no respite here, no breathing space, no subtlety, just animalistic force and undiluted, soul-scraping rage. Of course, there are other bands sporting such an approach and attitude that are favourites of mine: Coffins, Asphyx, Burning Witch, Unearthly Trance, just to name but a few of them. But these bands, while never letting the brutality and intensity levels fall below the red, manage to insert into their music enough variation to make it (even only a bit) more palatable, while Ilsa doesn’t even try such a thing
Of course, there may be hardened listeners who will obviously enjoy such an uncompromising stance. As for me, though, the whole thing became really draining after three consecutive listens. Which means that, while I might return to a couple of songs of Tutti il Colori del Buio from time to time, I won’t easily sit through the whole record again. Take that either as a compliment or as a warning…
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