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Ex Deo - Romulus

Published October 25 2009

=Staff's pick

Storm The Gates Of Alesia*
Cry Havoc
Surrender The Sun
The Final War (Battle Of Actium)*
Legio XIII*
Blood, Courage And The God's That Walk The Earth
Cruor Nostri Abbas*
In Her Dark Embrace
The Pantheon (Jupiter's Reign)

Genre Epic Death Metal
Maurizio Iacono
Tracks 11
Stéphane Barbe
Runningtime 62 Min.
Jean-Francois Dagenais
Label Nuclear Blast
François Mongrain
Release 19 June 2009
Max Duhamel
Country Canada
Jonathan Leduc
Similar artists ---

Ex Deo is the side project of Maurizio Iacono, more known to most people as the vocalist of the canadian death metal band Kataklysm. It started as a way of developing more of an artistic side of things which was not possible in his main band. Romulus is the debut album and is based entirely around the history of the Roman Empire, featuring guest appearances by Karl Sanders (Nile), Obsidian C. (Keep of Kalessin) and Nergal (Behemoth).

You can definitely, and not surprisingly, hear traces of Kataklysm in this and especially in production and vocals, even though Iacono does not come out as good here as he does in Kataklysm. This is however quite a bit more modest in tempo and is instead built up around a massive amount of epicness to fit the lyrical concept. I think they have managed to capture the atmosphere and the feeling of being present on an actual ancient warfield brilliantly. If there ever existed metal during the roman period, this is how it would have sounded.

The individual songs grind on in a similiar mid tempo throughout the album, with tiny variations up and down along the way. It is mighty, epic and some nice choruses and leads show up frequently but I think the album is lacking something in the riff department. It feels like something more could have been done there in order to take it to the next level.

There are a few peaks (Storm The Gates Of Alesia and especially the mid section with Invictus, The Final War and Legio XIII), but really no outstanding cut on the album. On the other hand there are not one filler to be found either, and at the end of the day Romulus warrants a good hour of solid metal that grows on you by time. I don't think it's fantastic but I can't stop listening to the album a few times a week, at least. That must count for something.








6,5 chalices of 10 - Tommy

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