THE IMMORTAL WARS
Without question, my favorite death metal band on the planet is Kataklysm. They are a band that has never failed me in their now 20 year career. Their brand of metal is beyond intense, and yet still maintains an ounce of melody that makes them far more than a “play as fast as you can on every instrument” type of act. Nine years ago, vocalist Maurizio Iacono announced the side project known as Ex Deo, which would be somewhat more of the same, only with a theme of the Roman Empire. Their two releases before today, ROMULUS and CALIGVLA, were OK but something wa missing. To my ears, they have found it. THE IMMORTAL WARS is a very solid, intense and enticing listen.
Now, being clear, this is probably not a release for everyone. I don’t think a lot of Cannibal Corpse or Six Feet Under fans (which I am a fan of as well, so don’t read this as a slap) will dig deep enough into the concept to fully grasp the message of THE IMMORTAL WARS. That said, I think that THE IMMORTAL WARS is far more enjoyable than either of the previous releases even if you don’t dive into the lyrics. It just flat out smashes you hard. Songs like “The Spoils of War” are a great example of this. While digging into its words you can feel the greed and rage they are trying to portray in the message, but at the same time, you can just listen to it and go, “fuck yeah...that rocks!” with no further delving into it necessary. That is the definition I would give the whole release. They do have some theatrical pieces involved in songs like “The Roman”, but overall this reminds me a lot of how I feel about Queensryche’s OPERATION MINDCRIME or THE CRIMSON IDOL by W.A.S.P. With those, you can just listen and enjoy it, or you can get hors more out of them from following along with the story.
PITRIFF RATING - 89/100 - Ex Deo has not been a project I’ve given much attention to previously. While it’s been good, they were never great. With THE IMMORTAL WARS, they’ve increased their standing. A strong, brutal representation of a strong, brutal movement in history, THE IMMORTAL WARS has rage and fury in all the right places.