ILIUM - Sirens Of The Styx: Re-Styxed
March 20, 2018, a month ago
So this Australian melodic power metal band are new to me. With nine albums to date, Sirens Of The Styx: Re-Styxed (released October 2017) is a rerecording of their 2003 debut. The 2CD deluxe digipak includes vocals from Lord Tim, from the band Lord (Australia), and completely re-written versions of the songs, plus one new track, updated artwork for each song, and the original version of Sirens Of The Styx as a bonus. What are these guys all about? Well given the genre, yes, Ilium embrace the trademarks of power metal, but finding a balance between the European stylings (fast double bass, higher voice, keyboards) and more stripped down, guitar based, less keyboards from America.
Opening track “Embrace The Myth” kicks off with guitars, bass, and drums with backing keys for added texture that are driving and melodic with a complimenting voice that has some grit with the melody, and two voices come together for the raging chorus. Heavy with power counterbalanced with splashes of melody. A nice simple catchy riff and keyboard begins “The Celestial Sphere” with a kick to the chorus. Ilium strike me to be somewhere between Edguy, Gamma Ray, Stratovarius at times, and Iced Earth. A kind of Middle Eastern-ish vibe to the leads starting “Antigone” incorporates a darker toned guitar, faster rhythm and brings to mind bands like Grave Digger and Brainstorm. Yet, the slower parts with the melody is very Iron Maidenish (“Solitary Empires) given the backing gallop. And speaking of…new number “Ode of the Trans-Dimensional Puppeteer” has such a strong Bruce Dickinson vocal that works well.
“Incipience: Beowulf Defeats Grendel” opens with epic orchestrations and dynamics like something heard from Symphony X or Blind Guardian and the keyboard melody is carried throughout. Closing three numbers keeps the music hard and heavy with guitars at the forefront. “Semblance” includes some excellent pronunciation and fluctuation in the vocal. All around well done power metal that is upbeat, mixes up rhythms, and combines its influences without ever being plagiaristic. Very enjoyable and recommended.