Permian Dusk is the second album of Australian power metal band Ilium, featuring former Dungeon vocalist Lord Tim who had also produced their debut release in 2003. It is kind of interesting cause Lord Tim joined the band only a week before the recording of Permian Dusk was due, so considering his performance on this album, he should be given credit for his great vocal job.
I haven't heard Ilium's first release, but Permian Dusk is basically an album of ten songs, some of which were written when guitarist Jason Hodges and original vocalist Mark Snedden were in another band called Oracle. The drum solo that opens the album on the classic heavy metal piece "Vacuous" sets the tone and demonstrates Ilium's staggering guitar riffs that deliver both cutting riffs and huge hooks. Lord Tim's vocals are powerful and the cold and raw drum sound complements the overall feel of the track. "An Odyssey Through Time" is a faster, more melodic piece written with references to Iron Maiden's "Caught Somewhere in Time" from Somewhere in Time. After two relatively fast-paced tracks, one of the catchiest and most gripping songs kicks in with a slowly building acoustic intro, some keyboards, and guitars using subtle exotic scales. Both guitarist Adam Smith and Jason Hodges produce thick melodic lines that surround the vivid bass and drum rhythms as well as Priest-like screams and define the song. However, the centrepieces of the album have got to be the two Oracle songs that were left out for various reasons. "Jaundiced With Fear" and "Dark Breed" are quite long, pushing the 8-minute mark. The former song has a very epic tone to it, marked by a vague folk feel that is somewhat Celtic sounding, and therefore similar to Skyclad, but as it proceeds, the riffs take on more Maiden-style gallop choruses, utilising a lot of different vocal stylings from Lord Tim and impressive twin guitar harmonies. "Subconscious Reality" also features a brief acoustic interlude before breaking into a full-on melodic metal number. On "Zeroid- Mechanical Pestilence", the band shows their theatrical sides with some narration thrown in for good measure, while "All Control Lost" is the album's grooviest song with a lot of multi-vocal parts.
All in all, Permian Dusk is a good melodic metal release with both power metal and traditional metal influences. This band has gone through a big tragedy before they entered the studio to record this disc, as one of their members had a very serious accident where he lost one foot. I respect them for their continued hard work and look forward to their third album.
- An Odyssey Through Time
- Chloroform Divinity
- Permian Dusk
- Jaundiced With Fear
- Dark Breed
- Subconscious Reality
- Zeroid- Mechanical Pestilence
- All Control Lost