Ilsa – Corpse Fortress (Antifa But Not Nazi Metal)

You know I can’t remember the last time I heard of a band coming from Washington DC I really cared about. I can’t remember the last promo I received from any band in the area. The place always seemed a musical pit of despair, at least the last time I wandered the streets. All I found were edifices that often only had meaning on the outside, something like this band in particular. I suspected that Ilsa derived their name from Ilsa She Wolf of the SS or the real Ilse Koch on which the character is partially based. Sure, why not go with a hyper sexual Reich uber alles Nazi sex beast image? Behold that’s exactly where the name came from, but they’ve stated it’s simply a name and they don’t identify with such things. In an era when people take and analyze names at face value, that’s probably not a good idea, or a glaring attempt to be controversial for sick wicked click press. How can we get noticed? Ah yes, call ourselves something we don’t identify with and explain it in interviews. But I’m reading too much into it, because Corpse Fortress is a face-value album. See that confused, empty face on the cover? That would be you.


This one looked a lot better than it sounded. I swear I’ve seen that golem face on some old horror VHS cover or something, and it reminds me of a little-known Czechloslovak musical comedy, but in spite of the homage these guys pay to unter alles filmen, I doubt they even know of it. I haven’t covered a Relapse release in awhile, either, and there’s a reason for that, the label just keeps getting more and more stilted. But this comes on sick purple green and something splatter vinyl, you say. Also, horror movie VHS culture, we do that stuff, and we’re antifa, the band says. Ilsa really want to crush you with their underground and politics (after you ask about the name), and they happily call themselves cult (lol) right on their Facebook header (heilol I guess they would say). They’re just a big, empty, superficial saving face of a band. The musical development is entirely simplistic, and of course they’ve done splits with Hooded Menace and Coffins cause untergangen. The vocals are the only thing just barely making it possible to finish listening to Corpse Fortress. Thematically it’s the same old zeitgeist. I was unable to even yawn when I caught the anti-Christian witch reference. What year is this? Ilsa are playing the same gibberish you’ve heard from better bands, they just found a way to hide the typical imagery under the surface, which is probably why Relapse took a chance with it. However, once you dig it up, and if you’re reading this you’re smart enough to do it, you give a bored, hollow scream, much like the thing on the cover.


Ilsa Official Facebook

Written by Stanley Stepanic

Ilsa – Corpse Fortress
Relapse Records
2.8 / 5