Ilium returns with their sixth album, My Misanthropria by turning a new chapter in their history. Mike DiMeo (Riot, Masterplan) is out on vocals; Lance King, a vocalist of some fame, is behind the microphone. This is more than a small coup d'etat as King is an exceptional metal vocalist with natural melodic expression and fine range. (Never was a big fan of DiMeo anyway.) Additionally, Ilium joins King's Nightmare Records roster.
Yet, at first spin, I wasn't quite sure it was King at the mic. The tone and timbre of his voice seemed different. Perhaps in the context of Ilium's music, I was thrown off. Nevertheless, proceeding through, the familiarity returned and he sounds pretty darn good, notably because he has a natural knack at following the melody and rhythm of any song here. As to Ilium's metal, they don't waver from their blend of melodic heavy and power metal with a strong emphasis on the guitar presence.
A large portion of the harmony and melody comes from riffage and leads. In this sense, My Misanthropia is largely a guitar-oriented album. Which means, of course, that the leads are blistering and mighty with some of the best within Quetzalcoatl, Lingua Franca, and Orbiting A Sun Of Sadness. While the guitar parts form the core of the songs, some synths come through, but mostly remain subdued. Exceptions come Quetzalcoatl and The Cryptozoologist where they offer a more present symphonic layer. I found the balance appropriate, but I would because I'm a bit a lead guitar geek.
After these things, Ilium mixes up the tempos, though the speed of power metal, with much staccato drumming, is probably what you'll notice the most. Penny Black, Godless Theocracies, and Zenith To Zero are typical examples. Alternatively, a tune like Lingua Franca backs off on the speed offering a moderate heavy metal pace driven almost entirely by harmonious guitar chords and vocal arrangement. Ultimately, thanks to fine songwriting, skillful guitar work, and Lance King's melodic vocals, My Misanthropia puts Ilium back into strong and entertaining melodic power metal territory. Recommended.
Thanks to fine songwriting, skillful guitar work, and Lance King's melodic vocals, My Misanthropia puts Ilium back into strong and entertaining melodic power metal territory. Recommended.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]