On their fourth release Ageless Decay, we find Australia's Ilium continuing to progress and impress with their form of melodic power metal. Fellow countryman and metal stalwart Lord Tim Grose (who was a significant presence and help) has been replaced by long serving Riot and Masterplan vocalist Mike DiMeo. For pure power metal production, Ilium recruited Tommy Hansen (Helloween) to twist the knobs for the mix and master. The result is that Ageless Decay is a briskly paced, even flowing platter of solid melodic metal. DiMeo seems a good fit as he can at once give the metal scream, yet also ushers in a vocal dynamic more akin to melodic hard rock.
Honestly, as the first notes hit my ears, I thought I was going to be bombarded and bored by the stereotypical indulgences of traditional power metal throughout Ageless Decay. For the most, with exception of the quite dynamic, near progressive, Hibernal Thaw, this is what you get at the beginning, with Tar Pit being the most predictable power metal offering. Good songs, but I've heard this before.
However, from Xerophyte to the end Ageless Decay becomes a compelling and entertaining disc of melodic power metal as every musician and element of composition meld together. Every time a song started with expectation of the usual galloping power metal, I was surprised by the impressive and significant variation within. This was often brought by changes of tempo, but more commonly by diverse instrumental arrangement. The highlights here include the aforementioned Xerophyte and also Ageless Decay, the shorter, more melodic metal, Eocene, Nubia Awakes, and The Neo-Mortician.
I found myself surprised by Ilium's Ageless Decay; this is not your typical melodic power metal. Within Ageless Decay is a strong measure of depth and diversity in the song composition which transcends stereotypical ideas of traditional power metal, and in the end, raises the bar of expectations. Very recommended!
I found myself surprised by Ilium's Ageless Decay; this is not your typical melodic power metal. Within Ageless Decay is a strong measure of depth and diversity in the song composition which transcends stereotypical ideas of traditional power metal, and in the end, raises the bar of expectations.
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