19th October 2016 – Self-release
01. Hunny Bunny
02. Pretty Secret
04. The Romantic
Few records this year have sounded as exactly like their title would suggest as Galway metallic hardcore group Ilenkus‘ Hunger. All-consuming, single-minded and utterly furious, its sleek menu of four tracks contains a deceptive wealth of material to consume.
Opener “Hunny Bunny” wastes not a single note in unleashing a forceful barrage of tight riffing and pace-setting drumming. Ileknus are very clearly not interested in sitting still, stifling the listener with rapidly-evolving waves of abrasive noise – yet it’s emphatically not just an amalgamation of ill-fitting ideas thrown together; the composition is tight and calculated. It’s not even 30 seconds old before a high-end wail of dissonant guitars is blended in, throwing elements of Botch and Converge against a wall and kicking them until they give you their lunch money; it’s just utterly breathless, holding nothing back.
Anyone who enjoyed fellow Irishmen Murdock‘s 2015 triumph Dead Lung will appreciate the attention to detail of Aidan Cunningham who recorded, engineered and mixed Hunger. The way it’s been constructed lends itself well to the tone; organic and largely un-tampered with, much of the savagery is a product of in-studio sound design and the recording techniques used, with little digital tampering. As a result, Hunger almost reaches through the speakers to grab you by the throat, sounding natural and raw, but not like it was recorded under the surface of a murky pond about 3 metres away from the microphones.
This measured construction allows the unique voice of each track to shine. The light/dark aspect of “Pretty Secret” contrasts corpse-raiser “Exhume“, and again the relentless, pulsing “The Romantic“. Hunger is delightfully heterogeneous for it, displaying Ilenkus’ diversity in a remarkably brief amount of time.
Hunger is a record that demands immediate and forceful bashing of whatever button you have mapped for “replay that shit again right now.” Cataclysmic to the last drop, it’s the perfect soundtrack to the final fifteen minutes of an apocalypse that you want to experience again and again.