So Maurizio Iacono and his Kataklysm crew are back with album number 3 of his Roman themed, epic, symphonic death metal project, Ex Deo. And while album number 2, Caligula was better than the debut, Romulus, and album number 3 is similarly incremental in its improvement, I’m still not enamored with a project that I really should be enamored with.
Honestly-I should be drooling over this project, even more so with this album being themed after Hannibal and the Second Punic War. This may sound familiar, as Italy’s ADE also covered the subject on last years Carthago Delenda Est. which immediately draws comparisons like that slew of dual movie releases that were both about the same thing in the 80s and 90s (Deep Impact v Armageddon/ Dantes Peak v Volcano) . However, the project remains an anomaly; Big pounding ,melodic death metal riffs? yes. Full on epic Fleshgod Apocalypse-ish orchestration? yes!, Roman shit? YES!!!! But still I’m just lukewarm.
However, as with the first two albums, even with all the above going on, the project just underwhelms as it still comes across as cast off Nu-Kataklysm riffs with keyboards. The mostly mid paced chunky, melodic riffs rarely imbue anything too rousing, and frankly without the admittedly, epic orchestration, it would be rather bland.
But as I said, the efforts are improving and The Immortal Wars has some decent moments that caught my ear which is more than the last two albums. And those moments seem to be tied to faster or more varied or Romanic based tracks. For instance the closing of “Hispania (Siege of Saguntum)” is pretty damn rousing, “Cato Major: Carthago delenda est!” has some really good moments and more somber 6 minute closer “The Roman” is a pretty good end note.
But other wise, for the rest of the album, the band is reliant on riffs that plod along like anything from the last 3 Katasklysm albums (‘The Rise of Hannibal”, “The Crossing of the Alps”, ‘The Spoils of War”, “Ad Victoriam (The Battle of Zama)” . And we know how well those turned out…Still, I hold out hope that these guys will deliver something that blows me away, as all the ingredients are there, it just isn’t tasting right.
With the identical Hannibal theme as ADE , but a little lagging, when it comes to The Immortal Wars I can’t help but think that it is the Deep Impact to Armageddon, the Wyatt Earp to Tombstone or Leviathan and Deep Star Six to The Abyss….[Visit the band's website]