Archive for Appian Way

Ex Deo – Caligvla

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , on 30th August 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Ex Deo
Released 3rd September 2012
Symphonic Death Metal/Epic Roman Metal
Released via Napalm Records

The epic Roman metal legion, Ex Deo, fronted by Katakylsm frontman Maurizio Iacono, are back with their second album, Caligvla, named after the Roman emperor of the same name, and ready to begin their conquest in the known metal world. The album is due for release on the 2000th anniversary of Caligula (31st August) in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and three other European countries.

The album is started by the opening track, I, Caligvla, which begins with a strong Roman styled orchestration and a speech proclaiming Gaius Augustus Germanicus emperor of Rome. Straight after, the snarling guitars kick into battle mode, being led by the powerful, domineering vocal work. The orchestration adds that awe-inspiring feel to the music, making almost like a soundtrack for a movie. The use of the samples taken from the film Caligula, really set the mood for the song.

The Tiberius Cliff charges in brutally with a combined assault of majestic orchestration, aggressive riffs and harsh vocals. The song captures perfectly the viciousness of Tiberius. The third song, Per Oculus Aquila, is introduced by a dark, atmospheric sound before turning into a snarling war machine of fierce riffs and vocals, topped with drums that come smashing down like rams into walls.

Divide Et Impera has a very Epica-like sound resonating from the music whilst the vocals summon up the death metal elements that run rampant through the album. The female vocals, performed by Mariangela Demurtas of Tristania, contrast beautifully with the music. Pollice Verso (Damnatio Ad Bestia) isn’t much of a track to write home about when it first begins but it soon evolves into bloody and violent piece of pure metal, featuring some delightful melodic riffs and acute drumming. The orchestration conjures a dramatic atmosphere, making everything sound more tense.

Burned To Serve As Nocturnal Light might sound like the title of a deep, Gothic poem but the tense orchestration and mighty march of guitars and drums prove it to be the complete opposite, creating an epic worthy of the Roman pantheon themselves. Teutoborg (Ambush of Varus), based on the infamous massacre of Varus’ legions in 9AD, offers up a deliciously dark serving of grim orchestration and roaring guitars. The sounds of men fighting and the screaming of Augusts’ legendary quote: Varus! Give me back my legions! add a certain authenticity to the track, portraying the infamous battle in a unique manner.

Along The Appian Way introduces a fresh, new war-like sound to the album, unleashing a fury of guitars, drums and orchestration, commanded by the guttural growling that has featured so prominently through the album. The guitars play out some truly sagaic parts that really add emphasis on the vocals. Once Were Romans opens with what sounds to be a Roman officer telling his recruits the punishment if they break the law, ending with “Deserters will be crucified”. The harsh vocals blast in, screaming to form battle formations, as the guitars and orchestration build up dramatically for the ensuing onslaught of violent riffs and barbaric drums. Evocatio: Temple of Castor and Pollux finishes the album with an emotive, almost divine piece of orchestration. A fitting end for an epic album.

Once again, Ex Deo have took parts of Roman history and tradition and fashioned them into truly epic pieces that will no doubt stand the test of time. Clearly the spirit of ancient Rome still lives on through Ex Deo.


Nico Davidson