I guess most of you know the reasons that Australia is a well – known country, for its kangouro and AC/DC, but not for power metal. Well things seem to be different with five gentlemen whose name is Ilium
. Before learn about their origin, by the hearing of the songs, especially the guitar parts I thought they were from Germany, but when I saw Australia I got surprised pleasantly. Ilium
after eleven years and four remarkable albums, now with their fifth full – length Genetic Memory
, they want to reach a higher level by playing power metal on a right way without being clones of other bands.
What makes sense in the new album is the participation of Mike Dimeo on vocals, a singer who knows very well from power metal bands as he used to be the vocalist of Masterplan
. I am not a big fan of his voice, but the truth is that he is doing excellent in here and he helps a lot the band. Actually everything in Genetic Memory
follows the rhythm of the guitar parts, Jason
Hodges proves through his unforgettable guitar playing how great musician he is and he combines what exactly is necessary in power metal, power and melody. “Kinaesthesia” and “Littoria” are the two first songs which make the first impression and keep you adherent on the continuing of the rest album. The first has a nice guitar intro and the second has a nice chorus that is missing from the first.
“The immortality gene” and “Ephemeral” are two songs that will chase in your head at once because of their characteristic introductions. Both
evolve beautifully and here is the moment that I could talk about the smart technical playing of Hodges. I say technical, but I do not mean the way of playing by Michael Romeo
plays simply and yet his riffs sound fresh and innovative, listen to the addictive introduction of “Genetic Memory
”, one of the best songs of the album.
In the beginning I mentioned that I thought the band’s origin was from Germany and the reason is one song “Neanderthal
within”, for me the best song of the album and the one able to throw down all the rest songs, always on a good meaning. Its basic riff really sticks to the brain and its melodic speed and solo brought in my mind the first perfect days of Gamma Ray
and of the general German power metal scene in the middle ‘90s. Its rhythm is more than interesting and if you like it at once you can sing it without the use of lyrics, so simple.
Many great albums in power metal are used to being completed with a big song in last and so Genetic Memory
could not do differently. “Irrinja” begins with a known instrument in Australia called Didgeridou, possible strange for some of you, but interesting to me and after that things follow the classic way. A basic riff, great alternations and a solo too and DiMeo on his best interpretation in the album, a song elaborated based on the formula of the German power songs which last more than eight minutes.
Well nothing left to say, this album is really good and the songs are the only factors to prove you this. If you admire a lot the German power scene then I recommend you Genetic Memory
and in the end the thing that you will admire most just like I did is that those guys are Australians and not Europeans.