While a greased up Maurizio Iacono parades around in his pony tails, faux amour and recycles Kataklysm riffs under the guise of Ex Deo, Italy’s Ade have released their second album (I have not heard the band’s debut Prooemivm Sangvine) of truly Romanic inspired death metal, and it’s going to be one of the best death metal albums of 2013.

With elements of Rotting Christ (epic hellenic/ethnic instruments) and Nile (technical/brutal death metal blended with cultural elements) all wrapped in a truly Roman (not Canadian) backdrop, ADE has delivered a stunning death metal album with their sophomore effort that shows how to mix cultural and ethnic themes into death metal successfully. With the death metal vortex and sandy hues of the aforementioned Nile (and not only because Nile drummer Geroge Kollias plays drums here) as well as innate Italian skill and brutality (Hour of Penance, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Antropofagus, Logic of Denial, etc) blending with the rousing Mediterranean/Middle Eastern elements (think the 300 or Gladiator score), Spartacus delivers on all levels.

And this isn’t some piecemeal brutal death metal with a few horns or some Latin words sprinkled about, or cheesy outfits and high budget videos – this is a full on blending of the two elements colliding on one huge, epic battlefield with both armies being equally matched. The death metal, driven by Kollias’s drumming is top notch; brutal, skillful, yet memorable and with enough innate ethnicity within the riffs and regal marches to see the Legions marching towards Silarus. But throw in convincing and well utilized ethnic Roman elements including instrumentation and choirs and you get a moving, engaging album that completely takes you to an era of dust, bronze and blood.

With the saga of Spartacus’ slave revolt (the actual events, not the T and A and CGI filled tv show) as the album’s central theme, there’s plenty of opportunity for blood filled battles and rousing moments of war mongering death metal, but ADE is able to inject the synths and other ethnic instruments into the fray in perfect moments. Whether its one of the many short intros that start the tracks such as opener “Betrayer From Thrace” or “Sanguine Pluit in Arena” or a longer atmospheric moment such as the female vocals that start “The Endless Runaway” or choirs of “Six Thousand Crosses” it’s all very well done. And often the elements are mingled in with the impressive death metal, not just as bridges or segues. For example the flutes and strings lurking in the chaos of “Crixius Flags of Dishonor”, Middle Eastern breakdown in the seething “Decimate the Coward” or the sudden Hellenic strumming and regal synths  that litter the bristling “Divinitus Victor”, it all works. And this would have been a damn fine death metal record without all the epic Romanic pomp as all the aforementioned tracks, could stand on their own death metal merit minus the cultural injections. Just listen to personal favorite “Mars’ Unpredictable Favor” and tell me that does not get your blood pumping in your sandaled feet as you prepare to take on all comers in the arena.

My only very minor gripe with an otherwise very impressive, year end contender of an album are the mid range, raspy vocals which could have used more low end and powerful bellows to really give it that authoritative, complete sound. But that does not take away from a stunning album from a relatively new band and newish label that look to really get on the death metal map with this killer release and add to Italy’s gradual rise and dominance of death metal. Lets hope it does not fall in seven days.

“Si vis pacem, para bellum”

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 15th, 2013


  1. Commented by: gabaghoul

    Fuck I need to hear this

  2. Commented by: Luke_22

    Just been spinning one of the songs on YouTube. Absolutely killer! Nice write-up.

  3. Commented by: diggedy1

    Fuck yes, this is totally killer. Love how you threw Ex Deo under the bus in the review. Thanks again for turning me on to the world of Blast Head, who seem to have a decent e-store. Worth a buy!

  4. Commented by: stiffy

    oh yeah me likey!!!!

  5. Commented by: Guilliame

    I’d like to buy it if i could find where. It is one of the most horrible band names in History. ADE. Bad. Didn’t think that one through.

  6. Commented by: Cynicgods

    Wow, very impressed. This and Atrocity’s Okkult (yeah, Krull stopped trying to be Andrew Eldritch and they’re memorable again) are sympho-death done right. Many definite year-enders and 2013’s just getting started. Gotta be thankful for that.

  7. Commented by: Guilliame

    Band name whatever, this is a stunning album. Kollias is such a beast. Everything here is beastly. The native touches are awesome.

  8. Commented by: krustster

    Yeah mayne, this tape is extremely wild. The debut album is highly featured as well.

  9. Commented by: gabaghoul

    finally added to Spotify, now I need to buy this so I can blast the shit out of it in the car. EPIC

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