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Ilium: Genetic Memory

Ilium is an Australian-based power metal band with it's roots going back to the late 1990's. Genetic Memory is their fifth album, and second with ex-Masterplan singer Mike DiMeo. No mistake, it's power metal from start to finish. Grandiose and power chord heavy, Ilium hit all the marks in the genre and are clearly up to the task with their technique. The songs are catchy, melodic, and the album as a whole has a nice balance of chuggita chuggita heaviness and mellower moments. However, I've heard it all before. Power metal, especially in the Euro tradition has a pretty narrow definition and not many bands break the mold. I do like the more prominent use of keyboards, and the band executes the music with energy and conviction. If you're going to play power metal, this is one way to do it right. If you're an Ilium fan, or a fan of power metal in general, check out Genetic Memory.

Track Listing
1. Kinaesthesia
2. Littoria
3. Grey Stains the Rainbow
4. The Immortality Gene
5. Ephemeral
6. Genetic Memory
7. Hostile Sky
8. Fevered Tongue
9. Neanderthal Within
10. Ghosts In Flesh
11. Irrinja

Added: September 28th 2011
Reviewer: Sean Gill
Related Link: Band Myspace page
Hits: 2523
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Ilium: Genetic Memory
Posted by Jeff B, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-09-28 22:23:03
My Score:

Ilium are one of the more accomplished acts on the Australian metal scene, and with Genetic Memory the band has officially released five full-length studio efforts. This melodic power metal outfit, despite their location, plays the exact style we would expect from many European acts - expect plenty of double bass pedal rhythms, commanding vocals, fast-paced riffs, and prominent keyboards. As such, Genetic Memory offers very little in the way of innovation; this is the same style of power metal that's been around for the last twenty years, and Ilium seldom deviates from that formula. If you like your melodic power metal to be well-played and professional, then Ilium may have created something worth your attention. Otherwise, Genetic Memory is a fairly generic effort that rarely offers anything new to the genre.

Despite my gripes with Ilium's rather "safe" approach to the melodic power metal genre, the music on Genetic Memory is still unquestionably the work of talented and skillful musicians. The compositions are always well-written, the songs are always executed professionally, and their are quite a few killer riffs here as well. The songs themselves aren't that outstanding, but that may be due to the fact that they're all pretty standard, run-of-the-mill power metal tracks. The thin production is also surprisingly weak - I really would've liked a cleaner, more polished sound in this instance.

It may seem like I have a lot of negative things to say about Genetic Memory, but the reality is that this is still a high-quality melodic power metal effort. The musicianship is strong, the songs are well-written, and the arrangements are obviously well put-together. I just think that it lacks the originality and memorability to grab the attention of most power metal fans. Established fans of Ilium will definitely want to give Genetic Memory a shot, but newcomers can probably skip this one. An average 3 stars are deserved for this average album.

Ilium: Genetic Memory
Posted by Brian Block, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-09-05 15:56:44
My Score:

Of all the genres out there it seems, at least to me, that power metal can be the most inconsistent. Mainly this can be because it has so many genre clichés or that bands don't feel the need to gain any new ground, and just are fine with sticking with the same old routine. That's why sometimes it's hard to really find power metal albums that are consistent, except for the proven bands like Symphony X. But Genetic Memory is the second power metal album I've gotten in a week that is very good, and doesn't fall into too many clichés.

Ilium has been around since 1998 and has yet to really hit it big, so to say. But Genetic Memory has that chance. This Australian based power metal group definitely has a more European power metal sound than an American sound, which I tend to enjoy more since it's much more grand and symphonic, mostly. The use of keyboards on this album by Adam Smith, who also plays bass and guitar, really adds to that image of grandness. Ilium really brings something good to the table that doesn't fall into every cliché that there is. The only problem with this album is that it's pretty long for power metal without progressive leanings, averaging out at just over an hour long.

Overall this is a very good release from this rather tenured power metal group. The vocals are great, the riffing is superb, and all in all this is one heck of an album. I'm glad that there is still power metal out there that can break the mold, and isn't the same old thing that's been done for the past 20 years.

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