Published on March 11th, 2017 | by Justin G.
Ex Deo: The Immortal Wars (Napalm)
Rejoice, symphonic death metal fans and/or historians of ancient wars! After a five-year absence, the Canadian centurions in Ex Deo are back with a new album, their third overall, titled The Immortal Wars. Once again the band, which features most of the lineup from Kataklysm, sets their sights on ancient Rome. This time the focus is on one of Rome’s most notable foes, the Punic military commander Hannibal, who led an army (on elephants!) across the Alps.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more appropriate concept for a symphonic death metal album, and Ex Deo takes full advantage of the historical subject matter here. The Immortal Wars feels like a series of military engagements across eight songs. Maurizio Iacono’s furious growls and Oli Beaudoin’s blistering drumming collide like swords against a shield wall, and the guitars plow right through all defenses. The orchestration is just present enough to give the songs an epic atmosphere, without drowning them out in cheesy effects.
It’s actually kind of difficult to square away just how epic and powerful The Immortal Wars is with the fact that it doesn’t even hit the 40-minute mark. Everything about this album (up to the Jens Bogren mastering and the amazing cover artwork by Elran Kantor) feels so massive. You see it best on songs like “Hispania (The Siege of Saguntum),” “Crossing the Alps” and Ad Victorium,” but the whole album maintains that epic atmosphere.
Fans of the first two Ex Deo albums (or any of the Kataklysm albums) will be more than satisfied by The Immortal Wars. This massive symphonic death metal album should also be heard by fans of Fleshgod Apocalypse, Hollenthon, Septicflesh, Stormlord, Keep of Kalessin, Amon Amarth and maybe even more adventurous Sabaton fans.
Summary: If you need to invade a country, by elephant, this is your soundtrack.