Ilium – Quantum Evolution Event EP
Release Date: 14/01/22
Running Time: 23:27
Review by Simon Black
Although I had not come across them until this point, Ilium have spent the last twenty years being quite prolific little beavers. Since 2002, there have been no less than eight full length albums (or seven if you don’t count completely re-recording your debut with a different line up) and half as many EP’s. This is the sort of Melodic Power Metal that’s found all over Northern Europe, but seems much more scarce in their native Australia, which may go part of the way to explaining why I had not come across them before. Add to that the endless line-up changes that make it hard to keep momentum and what you end up with is an act that have all the right elements in play, but are not as far out of the blocks as you might expect after twenty years of hard work. This needs to change, as they have all the right elements in play to be a way bigger contender.
This current incarnation still centres around the lynch pin of guitarists Jason Hodges and Adam Smith, but although credited only as a guest, still retains the vocal services of Lord Tim, and Tim Yatras on the drum and producer stools, as seems to have been the case since 2017. First off, that experience and maturity are loud and clear from the opening bars. This is really solidly crafted and well-written stuff. Power Metal fans lap this sort of thing up, but although it’s got all the standard tropes you expect from the genre it doesn’t sound like it’s been factory produced like so many albums from the genre do.
The Antipodean perspective means that, although all the usual influences are loud and clear, the overall sound is subtly different, and different again from the American branch of the genre. What this means is that although you’ve got strongly technical flourishes in there, it’s not overtly Progressive and completely avoids the Neo-Classical, which to be honest is no bad things as it’s completely been done to death in my humble opinion (take note Italy). It’s also song-writing with a clearly Traditional stamp too, so if the song is intended as a high tempo belter, it doesn’t outstay its welcome, slamming its message home in under three and a half minutes. When they slow down, take their time, and craft something more complex such as the really strong ‘Hostile Sky’, the run time subtly grows, but again shows restraint, so no twenty minute epic concept pieces here (at least this time).
Overall this has given me a thirst to find out more about these guys as I’m left curious, interested and hungry for more.
‘Quantum Evolution Event’ Official Lyric Video
1. Quantum Evolution Event
4. Hostile Sky
Jason Hodges – Guitar
Adam Smith – Guitar, Bass, Keyboards
Lord Tim – Vocals
Tim Yatras – Drums
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