The Tiberius Cliff (Exile to Capri)
III Per Oculos Aquila
IV Divide et Imperia
V Pollice Verso (Damnatio ad Bestia)
VI Burned To Serve As Nocturnal Light (bonus track)
VII Teutoburg (Ambush Of Varus)
VIII Along The Appian Way
IX Once Were Romans
X Evocatio: The Temple of Castor & Pollux
Maurizio Iacono – vocals
_ ancestral origin Apulia and Catania (Italy/Sicily) Stéphane Barbe – lead guitar_ ancestral origin
Belgica (Belgium) Jean-Francois Dagenais –rhythm guitar_ancestral origin
Gaul and Britannia (France_Scotland) Dano Apekian – bass guitar_ancestral origin
Artaxiad/Kingdom of Armenia (Armenia) Max Duhamel – drums_ancestral origin Gaul (France)
Music by Ex Deo- Lyrics by Maurizio Iacono
orchestration and keyboards performed by Jonathan Leduc at Silver
vocal appearances: Stefano Fiori (Graveworm) on Per Oculos Aquila;
Mariangela Demurtas (Tristania) on song "Divide et Impera; Seth
Siro Anton (Septicflesh) on "Pollice Verso (Damnatio ad
Produced by J-F Dagenais
and Maurizio Iacono. Executive producer napalm Records and maurizio
iacono. Recorded, mixed and mastered at JFD Studio. Engineered by J-F
Released on August 30, 2012
(Emperor Caligula's 2000th anniversary) under the label Napalm Record, the bright new album of Ex Deo offers a musical carpet which is
again worth to be background of a documentary or of a very refined
videogame even if a couple of songs in this new album are TOO
magniloquent and declamatory. Anyway there are also songs which are
simply fantastic. let's examine.
The title is dedicated to one of the most infamous and insane Roman Emperors: Caligula, whose true name was Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus and belonged to the Julio-Claudian
dinasty, and the listener is invited to undertake a journey into the fascination of the lost monumental time of a still young Roman Empire. Through the music
, you can feel orrors, perceive desecration and fear , you can
"grasp" the discipline, the vows and the epic feeling of a glorious as well as already decadent era. The opener
acts as entry door into this world. I Caligvla is rich in bombastic stereotyps concerning the picture of the "roman" epic imperial grandeur but it is a very effective introduction,
yet isn't able to capture our minds in the same way as Romulus did
in the first album of Ex Deo. The track is characterizide by rage, choruses, heavy
as well as acoustically designed guitars , vocal announcements, symphonic feelings, at times very pounding drums. In one word the track number
I is very theatrical, unfortunately not awesome. On the same length wave, track number
II, The Tiberius Cliff, uses epic elements to install imaginery and fear. All in all another descriptive track.
But the dark song
Per Oculos Aquila (track III) changes everything, although epic the music is inpired by sadness and bloodthirsty
menace. A sacrifice to the gods. And the composition is good,
finally. The notes are intersting, impending, connected to Kataklysm style.
Divide et Impera is very varied, it is bombastic again with many uptempos and female chorus and heavy guitar
work, dry bass lines, but it lacks of memorable passages and it
lacks of a unifying profile, although the various pieces are repeated.
with the track
V we can listen to another of the best songs of this album: Pollice Verso (Damnatio Ad
Bestia), a true monument to gladiators, with a propelling dark phrase, moments of clean lead guitar, a nice solo and tons of gloomy atmospheres.
Yes this song would deserve a video too! Rivers of endorphines flow at the end of listening. the interest is
focused more on men who lay on the gods than on men who believe to be
gods, and i like this research about more intime details. No place for
the weak, but the strong must pay however a high tribute.
I stand here, waiting for the gods to kill
no turning back
no hope for a dying man
is the only way, the only way to see another day
far away from home
stains the sands of eternity
is a good day to die
me to the after life
Bonus track VI Burned To Serve As Nocturnal Light is somehow catchy in its monumentality.
It is a little song about Nero and Christians. The words "Rome
burns... with the flesh...with the blood" are so emphasized and so
clear pronounced. It's a good song, but i dont get why a track in sixth
position should be presented as "bonus track". Otherwise would
have this album nine songs only? Or because it deals with another
emperor?? So why is this a "bonus track", illuminate me,
Although my "barbarian" Longobard blood cries virtual bitter tears in admitting
it (dalia di giacomo: ancestral origin COMO Lombardy), i agree with EX Deo:
Arminius was a traitor.
Arminius means ambush of Teutoburg, catastrophal for the Romans. Track VII,
Teutoburg (Ambush Of Varus)goes around this episode: the
defeat trhough ambush of three Roman legions. Great passages of melodic death metal.
The Appian Way is quite impressive: epic force and memorable guitars
tell the unhappy story of the rebellion of Spartacus and final defeat, with all remaining rebels crucified along the Via Appia.
Were Romans is the song which reminds the most to Kataklysm in style and vocal characteristics. It is a true piece of "Roman" Death metal, if this definition could have a meaning
at all (the album is sold in Germany with the sticker "Epic Roman Metal" on
it). As always, lyrics are straight and significative:
were Romans - Once were men who died for honor - once were women who
made imperial blood
were gods who walked upon the earth
of "symphonies of conquest" with Greek influence/chorus oriented is the last song Evocatio: The Temple Of Castor And
Pollux dedicated to the twins , sons of Zeus.
"Caligvla" is the second step,after "Romulus", in presenting some of the biggest events in the history of Rome in all facettes, the valuable and the insane ones.
Kind of a second scroll, a second volume. At the end Rome is always seen like a radiant yet often bitter beacon of civilization.
The road to hell might be paved with good intentions, and the road to
civilization is paved with insanity and evil. This project of Maurizio Iacono and Kataklysm all is something unique and original. It is
history engraved in music like an opera with more recitative songs
waiting for the "arias" in which the composition
develops more structurally, in this case melodic death metal
oriented with memorable hooks or marches in which drums are mighty, at
time explosive, but let somehow in the background, letting vocals,
guitars and keyboards outstand. In Caligvla
instruments, vocals, choruses are focused on the mighty side of this history, unfortunately less on the finer feelings (exception is Pollice Verso, where
strength is associated to more personal and subtle perception. but this is surely the will of the
Gods...isn' it? Last but not least,
the Cover Artwork by Seth Siro Anton is superb.
Scriptum: just notice in the booklet the "ancestral origins"
of the line up members ;) repeated here too in the line up.