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Hesperia - Caesar (Roma Vol. 1) Award winner

Caesar (Roma Vol. 1)
by Marcos "Big Daddy" Garcia at 03 March 2017, 10:39 PM

Roma, land of my forefathers, whose history and great deeds seduces me, I truly hail your timeless glory…

In the general Metal scene from Italy, we have a handful of great bands with a particular way of sounding that I already defined as an Italian feature. No band throughout the world can emulate this feature. It’s for Italian bands, and once more, I have the pleasure of reviewing a work from HESPERIA, a veteran into the Italian Metal scene that comes with its new work, called “Caesar \[Roma vol. I]”.

Romantic, epic and truly charming, we can barely label the band’s work as Epic Pagan Black Metal. The mind of Hesperus (the only band member) conceives a true Epic Black Metal opera, filled with heavy guitars riffs, very good rhythmic work from bass guitar and drums, atmospheric orchestrations that make you feel as you are in the past, and the voices fills a great range of tunes, from pagan Italian vocals to harsh aggressive voices. And to be honest, to understand this album is not an easy task, because everything on “Caesar \[Roma vol.I]” has a clear reason to be done, nothing is excessive or is missing. And the songs make you feel as you are a witness of a part of the Roman Empire history, as you could see Julius Caesar himself becoming the supreme ruler of Roma, back in 46 BC.

The sound quality is balanced in a shape that shows the rawness of a Black Metal, obviously, but respecting the aspects of its historical concept. So you can have the idea that the album sounds in an excellent form, and you’ll get drowned by the whole work done. And the fine artwork completes the musical concept, with images of moments of the history told on the lyrics, that seems to be old paintings from great artists.

“Caesar \[Roma vol. I]” is really a perfect album, with each one of its long songs filled with different parts that complete each other, with all the lyrics sang on Italian and Latin (with archaic pronunciation), and every single moment of the entire album is unique, has its shining grace, something that embraces you gently, and make you become one more member on HESPERIA’s legions. On the album, you’ll find eleven themes that will guide you through the history of the first Caesar.

“Ivlia Gens (Incipit)” is an intro filled with grandiose arrangements of trumps, where the bond of blood that links Caesar to Romulus and Aeneas is remembered, preparing the listener for “Svpremvs Dvx”, filled with orchestrations and fine guitar riffs, with very good tempo changes, where is told about the omens that announces the arrival of a great warlord. On “Trivmviratvm”, again a grandiose song, adorned with fine keyboards parts and many different tempos, focusing on Triumvirate, the ruler of the three men of Caesar, Pompeius and Crassus, and it has a citation of Svetonio’s “La Vite dei Cesare”. The Pagan feeling gets near of Gallic culture on “De Bello Gallico”, that has the presence of a crwth, an ancient acoustic instrument from Gallia, and the lyrics speaks about the Roman victories on the war with Gallian tribes.

A change occurs in “Britannia Capta Erit” and “Alea Iacta Est”, because a touch of the feeling from ancient culture of Britannia permeates the first part, and the second is filled with harps, trumps and keyboards parts, a very good guitar solos, but keeping the Britannia feeling, and the song is about the conquest of Britannia and Caesar’s decision to cross the Rubicon, the river that was the ancient frontier of Roman Empire, that he crossed with only one legion and ignited a civil war (remembering that he was ordered to disband his armies by the senate before it). A beautiful and harsh atmosphere introduces “Roma”, where the melodic lines and vocal tunes creates a strong and introspective feeling, as bass guitar and drums are truly important due the rhythmic diversity of the song, which lyric is focused on the events of the Roman civil war.

Arabic orchestrations and war paced drums introduces “Aegyptvs (Tema di Cleopatra)”, a rich song, with a great work from vocals, where male and female voices contrast perfectly, showing the dialogue between Caesar and Cleopatra (the vocals are from the tenor Christian Bartolacci and the soprano Aerethica). And prepare you souls and hearts to the climatic complexity of musical arrangements, great opera vocals and narrative and clean vocals of “Caesar (Tema di Cesare)”, wich marks the maximum triumph of Caesar. On “Romana Conspiratio (Tema di Bruto)” is the theme of Brutus, adopted son of Caesar, who managed a revolt with the senate, to assassinate the supreme ruler of Rome, and the song has a darker and more aggressive insight, and a citation to William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” can be heard. Melancholic and filled with a sad and introspective feeling, “Divini Praesagii (Romanorvm Deorvm)”, where the omens that preceded Caesar’s death are narrated. And as the omens happened on the ides of March, a beautiful and orchestral version for IRON MAIDEN’s “The Ides of March” can be heard on “Le Idi di Marzo (The Ides of March)”, with excellent keyboards and drums, along with fine guitar solos, where we can see the universality of Eddie’s gang musical influences in all Metal styles.

Once more, something from melodic influences of IRON MAIDEN can be heard on the epic song “Ivlivs Caesar (Divvs et Mythvs)”, where the soul of the song is located on the guitar parts, riffs and solos, along with this song that shows the spirit of Caesar tormenting Brutus, his own death and the end of the cesaricides (the proscription and death of all potential heirs with links of blood with Caesar), and the rise of the an imperial power due the use of the surname of Julio Caesar as an imperial title. This marks the origin of the title “Caesar” for the rulers of Rome for the next times (but the bloodline that links the emperor to Julius Caesar ends on Nero, thus ending the Julio-Claudian dynasty). The name will be used until Trajan. And his successor, Hadrian, is the first to not use the title.

The album has a limited 100 copies version, with many treasures, as a board game called “Alea Iacta EstErit”, the granular incense eaten for the album's recording sessions, and a Littus (an augural Italic Roman staff). And all the songs of the album will be released as lyrics videos soon on YouTube. After hearing the album, I felt myself touched by “Caesar \[Roma vol. I]” because I am a grandson of Italian immigrants that came to Brazil on the last decades of the XIX century. It’s a matter of blood to me, and I ask of my editors, colleagues and writers for a bit more of your patience for some of my personal words about one matter, linked to HESPERIA and all Metal bands that help us all to recover our cultural alma mater: as I told some weeks ago, a doctor in philosophy of Leeds Beckett University called Karl Spracklen, spoke nasty words about Pagan, Folk and Viking Metal.

We all were called racists and, if you can read the subjective lines, in the end of it, he is calling us all fascists. In his words, “The bands in the research are all trying to identify with some reputed folk culture that existed before modern times – a culture of pure white people, mono-cultural and mono-racial”, and I felt myself deeply offended.

For my readers and friends, I want to state a thing that few of my colleagues know about me: I’m a Doctoral degree student in Geophysics, graduated in Physics, and I always found my energies in Metal. So I can say that Dr. Spracklen is undoubtedly wrong in his ideas, words and research. Metal is not fascist, racists or a male centered musical style. The works from bands as HESPERIA, TYR, and many others has a historical effort to rescue some parts of the past. The dear doctor forgot the legends about the shield maiden on Viking culture, and even bands like SIGH (from Japan), MIASTHENIA and OCULTAN (from Brazil) and thousands of bands that shows the lost cultures of the past, not only from Europe (and I can’t understand the hate shown by these people of human sciences show against us, Heavy Metal fans). You’re not speaking about hate, dear Doctor, but you and the ones like you are the true feeders of this hatred eating the youth from the inside.

Sorry again, but your arguments and ideas seems to me that same ones from the past, from the kings and religious leaders that spoke offenses and caused painful persecutions against Jewish people for centuries. And maybe your ideas of multiculturalism (being forced to everyone with a soft tongue) is a new fascist idea like that one from that weak and insane man with a strange moustache, and you forgot all the evil he caused, the immense quantity of innocent blood that was spilled, and the 3 millions of innocent lives that were destroyed in places like Treblinka, Chelmno, Auschwitz-Birkenau… No professor, you are wrong, because you are the one who wants to extinct something, not us. This is the main reason that puts me to have problems in accept researches in your area… This is the main reason for me to be politically incorrect to the core of my soul.

Sorry for taking so long, so listen to “Caesar \[Roma vol. I]” as loud and you can, and enjoy a work done with all the care possible for us all.

Originality: 10
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

1. Ivlia Gens (Incipit) / Svpremvs Dvx
2. Trivmviratvm
3. De Bello Gallico
4. Britannia Capta Erit / Alea Iacta Est
5. Roma
6. Aegyptvs (Tema di Cleopatra)
7. Caesar (Tema di Cesare)
8. Romana Conspiratio (Tema di Bruto)
9. Divini Praesagii (Romanorvm Deorvm)
10. Le Idi di Marzo (The Ides of March)
11. Ivlivs Caesar (Divvs et Mythvs)
Hesperus - Vocals, guitars, bass, drums, keyboards
Record Label: Sleaszy Rider Records


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Edited 30 November 2022

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