Ilium – Quantum Evolution Event (Self-Released)

Friday, 28th January 2022
Rating: 8.5/10

Veterans within the Australian metal scene since the early 2000’s, Ilium have steadily made an imprint on the power, traditional, progressive, and thrash metal scope through their vast discography. Including many notable musicians in their ranks (previous work including vocals from Mike DiMeo of Riot and Lance King from Balance of Power/Avian, their latest EP Quantum Evolution Event continues the band’s long-time collaborative relationship with vocalist/producer Lord Tim and drummer Tim Yatras. This five-song EP contains two fresh new songs plus three re-recordings of older material – given a bit more finesse and heaviness through stronger tones/production values.

Opening with the thunderous title track, the crunchy, gallop-oriented riffing along with Lord Tim’s commanding mid-range to slightly higher vocal melodies get the record off to a tremendous start – the supplementary keyboard accents and slower, twin harmony-fueled lead break contains the right shred-oriented tastiness for dynamic enhancement. The alluring axeplay between Jason Hodges and Adam Smith pushes “Tsetse” into upper echelon power anthem glory – visions of classic Thundersteel-period Riot, Firewind, and Fifth Angel come to mind put through a bit of a 90’s Gamma Ray lens when taking in the tight intricate licks, riffs, and superior twin guitar melodies. Reaching back to 2007’s Vespertilion for “Undergods”, the professionalism of Tim Yatras and Lord Tim shines through – steady groove to killer fill abilities along with proper vocal nuances in specific lower register work reigniting this classic. Adventurous influences that set up a broader musical landscape a la Savatage to Annihilator for “Hostile Sky”, while more of the circular twin guitar action and steady double kick activity a la classic Helloween comes up on “Mothcaste” – originally done for 2011’s Genetic Memory and 2009’s Ageless Decay respectively.

There’s something timeless and tangible when you hear solid power metal with progressive, thrash, and traditional elements performed at a high caliber rate as Ilium consistently rises to the occasion through every release. While the fervent following may be cult-like in numbers across the globe, there’s no denying that this EP keeps the band right on target when you want catchy songs, intelligent/thoughtful lyrics, and passionate musicianship.

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