Review: EX DEO – ‘The Immortal Wars’

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After what has seemed like forever, Canadian death metal band Ex Deo has returned to bless us with their third full length release, ‘The Immortal Wars’. After releasing ‘Caligvla’ in 2012 with a bit of touring, the band decided it was time for a break in 2014. It was soon being reported that the return of the band was unlikely. Lead singer Maurizio Iacono, Jean-Francois Dagenais, Oli Beaudoin, and Stéphane Barbe went back to their main project in Kataklysm. Also featured in the band is Jonathan Leduc on the keyboards and François Mongrain on the bass guitar. Only a year later in 2015, the band announced that they were to begin work on their follow up. In January of 2016, it was revealed that the band’s next release would be titled ‘The Immortal Wars’. It has been a long road since then, but the time has finally come. On February 24th, 2017, Ex Deo will be releasing the album on Napalm Records. It was produced and mixed by Jens Bogren in Sweden. The Roman themed heavy metal band is prepared to unleash hell. You can preorder the new album here.

If you are unfamiliar with Ex Deo, they are known for mainly creating songs relating to Roman history. Their debut album, ‘Romulus’ (2009), refers to the original founder and first king of Rome. ‘Caligvla’ refers to Caligula who was known for being the third emperor of Rome that went on to become a powerful tyrant. This newest album, ‘The Immortal Wars’, tells the tale of Rome fighting Hannibal, his Carthaginian army and his elephants. “The Rise of Hannibal” kicks off the record with a epic intro before building up into a monstrous song with incredibly dramatic instrumentals to build tension. Hannibal did not agree with how things were being ran in Rome so he took matters into his own hands and lead his Carthaginian region to rebel against the Romans, leading to the Second Punic War. “Hispania” is filled with quick, shredlike riffs from Stéphane Barbe and Jean-Francois Dagenais before heading to a darker tone. Maurizio Iacono bellows powerful statements of what Hannibal is planning to do, including seeking the destruction of Rome. The orchestra at the end of the song adds more feeling to it to lead up to a very intense track following it. “Crossing of the Alps” tells the remarkable tale of how Hannibal took a huge military through a hostile territory for him to get to the Roman Republic. It consists of an incredible guitar solo and blasting drum beats from Oli Beaudoin. The song sets the tone of how extreme the crossing was, but also how passionate Hannibal was to achieve his goal. “Suavetaurilia” is a short, but exciting track to take us into the next song. You can tell that there will be something substantially heavy about to happen. “Cato Major: Carthago delenda est!” is beautifully constructed with the perfect balance and symphony and explosive, in your face death metal. Cato the Elder calls for all Roman forces to come together to destroy Carthage. The Romans are starting to recognize that Hannibal has become a problem for them. “Ad Victoriam (The Battle of Zama)” begins with a brutally heavy intro as we head into war. The Battle of Zama was Hannibal’s first big defeat which began to lead to the downfall of his power. The war took away basically any military power that Carthage planned to have in the future unless the Romans decided to allow it. You can feel the bass of François Mongrain pounding in your chest as if you are running through the battlefield, preparing to take on Hannibal’s military and elephants. “The Spoils of War” tells us of the consequences of losing the Battle of Zama that made them lose any economic or military power that they had before then. “The Roman” clocks in as the longest track on the album right at 6 minutes. If you’ve had a chance to check out the video (which is below) you already know it’s a killer. There is a long orchestral intro to take us into a bloody, blistering end to ‘The Immortal Wars’. It is filled with tons of pace changes that will send the listener on an epic adventure back to 202 BC. I can’t help but think the word “epic” the whole time I’m listening to this album. I mean does it get any more badass than a death metal band like Kataklysm banding together to write songs specifically Roman history themed? Ex Deo has made sure that their return was well worth the wait and the fans will not be disappointed. You can check out “The Rise of Hannibal” and “The Roman” (for mature audiences) below. Don’t forget to like Ex Deo on Facebook.

About Low Gain

I'm just a teenager, living in Southern Illinois, that loves music in general. I love attending festivals as it feels like everyone comes together as a giant family. I also look forward to hearing new music and passing it onto the masses. In my free time I play guitar, basketball, and attend high school.
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