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Ex Deo - Caligvla

Ex Deo
by Cameron Ervin at 01 November 2012, 4:28 PM

The far reaches of the Metal genre never ceases to disappoint me. If you want some Viking inspired lyrics about pillaging and charging into battle check out AMON AMARTH. If the dark atmosphere of Egyptian mythology interests you look up the band Nile. If Roman culture and history of is empire is something that is interesting to you EX DEO is exactly what you’re looking for. Heavy with symphonic elements this side project of KATAKLYSM’s frontman is very unique in its lyrical approach. On the other hand the music is nothing too special, nothing really stood out for me. It is good and very epic sounding but besides different tempos and riffs the songs tend to run together and sound the same. If you were looking for a genre to put this band into I’d say it would fit perfectly in the Symphonic Death Metal genre, if such a type exists.

“I, Caligvla” starts the album off with an entirely symphonic first 30 seconds. At the 50 second mark Maurizio Iacono comes in and his unique grow/scream is heard crowning a new emperor of Rome. Listening to this cd with an excellent pair of noise canceling head phones really makes the double bass drum sound heavy and crushing adding to an already full sounding album. A plus for this record is how robust, bombastic, and full it sounds. There is no emptiness or hollow sounding parts anywhere on “Caligvla”. The third track, “Per Oculos Aquila”, is no disappointment. The lowly tuned guitars create a simple yet catchy riff that leads into an epic sounding chorus making it one of the stronger songs on this album. “Divide Et Impera” opens up with another riff. This one is more upbeat and heavier with the double bass supporting it. The chorus here is different than any other on the entire album. Here they recruited what sounds like an all-female choir to take over the vocals while Iacono rests his vocal chords from his grueling treatment. Track number seven is unique because it has a section where the instruments cut out and the sound of battle takes their place. You can make out swords clashing, men shouting, and then Iacono shouting the command, “Hold The Line!”. “Teutoburg (Ambush of Varus)” is an all-around good track but the battle scene makes it stand out from the rest. The last track is an epic symphonic instrumental. It is a good way to close out a very full album.

I’d say it’s definitely worth picking up. The instrumentation is fairly good and the symphonic elements make the album sound exceedingly robust. The lyrical content is also something to consider since it’s not every day you find a band as good as this singing about such a different and entertaining subject as EX DEO does.

4 Star Rating

1. I, Caligvla
2. The Tiberius Cliff (Exile to Capri)
3. Per Oculos Aquila
4. Divide Et Impera
5. Pollice Verso (Damnatio Ad Bestia)
6. Burned to Serve as Nocturnal Light
7. Teutoburg (Ambush of Varus)
8. Along the Appian Way
9. Once Were Romans
10. Evocatio: the Temple of Castor & Pollux 
Dano Apekian- Bass
Stéphane Barbe- Guitars
Jean-François Dagenais- Guitars
Max Duhamel- Drums
Maurizio Iacono– Vocals
Record Label: Napalm Records


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