Australia's Ilium returns with their fifth recording Genetic Memory and finds the band staying the course of heavy melodic power metal. Familiar territory is always a good place to be, so don't expect Ilium to breaking any new ground here. But that's just fine, simply because Ilium is good at what they do.
With a foundation in classic heavier metal, Ilium easily straddles the fence both simple melodic metal and the more thunderous power metal, although the melodic girds everything here. The former is evident in Ephemeral, Hostile Sky, and the best track Grey Stains the Rainbow. Much of this has do to the harmonious guitar work and the inclusion of, often luxurious, synthesizers. These are not merely in accent but add much needed breadth and dexterity to a song like Hostile Sky. For the latter power metal, Kinasthesia, the title cut Genetic Memory, and The Immortality Gene blister along with a scorching intensity. But even these (and others) are tempered by the keen sense of melody and tasteful use of keyboards.
Then, as mentioned earlier, a song like Fevered Tongue can blur both categories with ease. Yet, in this case, it makes for an average song, and this formula recurs in Neanderthal Within and somewhat in Ghosts In Flesh, which is saved by the synths. Nevertheless, while ordinary, don't let familiarity bred contempt for melodic power metal. This is sound material, and sometimes gravely ambitious as the lengthy closing piece Irrinja proves where Ilium attempts to invoke progressive nuances. Here, also, vocalist Mike DiMeo seems slightly more fluid and versatile. Otherwise his style is rigid and raspy throughout, making nearly the entire album to sound unnecessarily harsh.
The conclusion is a simple one. Once more, on Genetic Memory, Ilium stays their familiar course with a huge platter of heavy melodic power metal.