Permian Dusk

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Not to be confused with the Chicago post-rock band of the late '90s led by filmmaker John Hughes' sons, this Ilium is a power metal quintet from Australia. On their second album, Ilium suggest that most of the more annoying aspects of modern metal have not yet percolated from Scandinavia down to the southern hemisphere, and this is a good thing. Singer Lord Tim (the band's producer, taking over the vocal duties from lead guitarist Jason Snedden) has the oddly perfect diction and haughty delivery of an old-school metal singer like David Coverdale or the Scorpions' Klaus Meine. Behind him, the band plays it fast and melodic, with clean-sounding chorused guitars riffing merrily away over a better than average rhythm section anchored by new drummer David Walmsley. It all sounds so much like classic early-'80s metal that the uncharitable might think it's all some kind of deadpan parody of the days when folks like Don Dokken and Gregg Giuffria could name bands after themselves, right down to the nine-minute epic closer "Zygo-Maze," which nods to the prog metal of Queensr├┐che. Still, it's good to see a band so unapologetic in its pursuit of headbanging.

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