Ex Deo - Romulus review


139 users:
Band: Ex Deo
Album: Romulus
Release date: June 2009

01. Romulus
02. Storm The Gates Of Alesia [feat. Nergal]
03. Cry Havoc
04. In Her Dark Embrace
05. Invictus
06. The Final War (Battle Of Actium) [feat. Karl Sanders]
07. Legio XIII
08. Blood, Courage And The Gods That Walk The Earth
09. Cruor Nostri Abbas [feat. Obsidian C.]
10. Surrender The Sun
11. The Pantheon (Jupiter's Reign)

Since this album is rated so low, I think there is need of someone claiming the positive side of Romulus by Ex Deo. As we all know, this is a side project of the Kataklysm members led by vocalist Maurizio Iacono. At first it is important to state that this is not Kataklysm, but a different band. The vocals consist a lot more of the epic screams of Maurizio Iacono and we have a second guitar played by Kataklysm-bassist Stephane Barbe. The maybe biggest difference is the use of keyboards in this new band.

Going inside the album, we have eleven songs that clock around 61 minutes. The opener, which is also the title track, starts off with an epic scenery, made by keyboards and definitely setting the plot right into the roman empire. The first guitar riff comes shrieking and loud out of the boxes and it is clear that you do not have the guitar sound you got used to by lead guitarist Jean-Francois Dagenais. We have a lot more highs inside the sound, which makes it harsh and edged. After a few listens one could think this is an approach to the usual black metal guitar sound. The drum sound is also very remarkable, whereas the drum patterns themselves are more impulsive and floating than in Kataklysm. Max Duhamel does not show all his skills but still does a great job every time. As told above, the vocals are different in Ex Deo, but this is somehow great for people who want more of the screaming by Maurizio Iacono. His vocals and the lyrics are the core of this album, the lyrics deal with scenes of the Roman empire and are well researched. The songs "Storm The Gates Of Alesia" and "The Final War (Battle Of Actium)" tell of real events and also carry this atmosphere quite well. The latter song is for sure one of the best on Romulus, also quite catchy and already gilded with a video record that is just epic. The maybe best song on this album is "In Her Dark Embrace." The chorus is of strength that I do not know from any other musical work, it leaves me with an unique feeling every time. Also speaking of the lyrics, it is remarkable that we have in "Cry Havoc" a passage of a little more than a minute where we get a sample of Shakespeare's drama Julius Caesar, of which the famous quote comes. I could not think of any other non-musical insertion fitting better to this album.

Many say the album is boring, it is nothing about crushing death metal. Well, it is not the usual death metal album you know, but this does not make it boring in a way. The album is especially awesome for people interested in Roman history, for there is almost no other bands dealing with that. In conclusion, Ex Deo hit the spot with Romulus and hopefully carry on the Via Appia to Rome!

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Production: 9

Written by Windrider | 30.01.2011


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Staff review by
Baz Anderson
Epic Melodic Death metal
Nuclear Blast
Length: 1:01:41

Ex Deo is Maurizio Iacono of Kataklysm fame's new little toy. Lets face it though, he probably got drunk one night and thought "yeah - lets do some really epic album, because that's popular at the moment, and lets make it completely not generic at all." Well guess what, the first album from this project Romulus is the most generic thing since taking the tedious walk to the toilet and back.

published 29.08.2009 | Comments (37)


Comments: 2   Visited by: 75 users
30.01.2011 - 13:50
Finally someone sharing my opinion
30.01.2011 - 16:46
Fils du Lys
At last this album gets some well-deserved recognition! Personnally I think Legio XIII is the most epic track, with its more omnipresent symphonic elements.
Notre destinée n'est pas encore tracée....

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