Ilium is a melodic power metal band with strong roots in the classic heavy metal sound exemplified by the likes of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, from Newcastle, Australia. The band has released two albums and as of June 2007 is soon to release their third album ' Vespertilion ' through legendary American label Sentinel Steel records.
Guitarist Jason Hodges and original vocalist Mark Snedden formed the band as Iliad in 1998 having previously played together in Oracle in the early 1990s. This embryonic version of the band also included former Oracle guitarist Kris Arendse and the final Oracle bassist Michael Noonan, as well as drummer David Pearson. With the introduction of Adam Smith (also formerly of Oracle) on guitar, the band changed its name to Ilium. Recording soon began on an eponymous EP with Dungeon vocalist and guitarist Lord Tim producing and supplying backing vocals in 2002 with Michael Noonan on bass guitar but he soon left and Smith completed bass tracks for the recording, with yet another former Oracle member Matthew Woodland joining the band shortly before its release. The EP gained the attention of several notable labels, including Sentinel Steel boss Denis Gulbey, with Italian label Adrenaline's metal label Steelheart signing the band for the release of their debut.
Ilium then began recording the debut album Sirens Of The Styx with Dungeon's Lord Tim producing and Steve Moore playing drums. The album was released on 18 December 2003. It contained the track "Incipience: Beowulf Defeats Grendel", part one of a proposed trilogy centred around the Beowulf legend. (Parts 2 and 3 are on the forthcoming third release.) Another song, "The Celestial Sphere", later became the subject of Ilium's first video clip. After the recording of the album, Peter Gilchrist became the band's bassist, with drummer David Walmsley joining shortly thereafter.
While the first album awaited release, the group announced plans to begin recording its next two album concurrently but Snedden left the band in July due to family and financial restraints. Lord Tim was recruited in his place, originally in a temporary capacity to complete the recording sessions although this arrangement now appears to be permanent. Gilchrist and Walmsley both left Ilium at the end of 2003, Gilchrist recorded the demos for the songs but the bass on the album was played by Smith, with Walmsley completing the drum duties on the album before exiting the band. During this album Tim's vocal style, which was more in tune with pivotal members Smith and Hodges' vision for the band than his predecessor's, help Ilium garner considerable international praise, whilst the production duties were taken over largely by Smith and Hodges. Late in 2004, Gilchrist and Walmsley rejoined Ilium, and Gilchrist's 15 year old son Corey was also drafted into the group on keyboards, with his ample vocal talents slated to provide extra body to Ilium in the live arena. Corey Gilchrist had been a contestant on the TV talent and reality show Australian Idol and twice has reached the top 100, but was cut before having a chance to go before the public.
David Walmsley again left Ilium as Permian Dusk was being mastered and was replaced by Dungeon's Tim Yatras. Before any further plans could be made, however, Corey Gilchrist was hit by a train in October 2005 and had his foot amputated as a result, devastating all members of the band. This also forced both he and his father out of the band. The younger Gilchrist recovered and again featured on Australian Idol, getting into the semi-finals.
Permian Dusk was released in November 2005. The album won a particularly strong review from German metal magazine Rock Hard!, which gave it a score of 9.5/10 and led to reviewer Wolfram Kueper claiming it to be the best power metal album of 2005. Ilium produced a video clip for the track "Chloroform Divinity" from this album.
The group has since released their third album Vespertilion ,which has already received strong reviews, with Rock Hard! magazine again rating it very highly. In November 2006, it was announced that Swedish keyboardist Kaspar Dahlqvist, a former member of bands including Dionysus, Stormwind, Treasureland and Circle II Circle, had joined the Ilium line-up, though personal issues have meant that he is unable to continue with the band.
In November 2007, Lord Tim announced his departure from Ilium. The band are yet to announce their new vocalist, but work is underway on a fourth album with a tentative release for late 2008.