Published on January 7th, 2020 | by Justin G.
Metal De Facto: Imperium Romanum (Rockshots, 2019)2019 saw the debut of a new Finnish power metal band calling themselves Metal De Facto. Translated loosely, it means “metal, more or less,” which makes it seem like they don’t have a lot of confidence in their own metalness. Come on guys, you have a sweet logo and a big ol’ eagle on your cover; you’re halfway there! Actually, the band is made up of veterans of other Finnish bands like Ensiferum, Leverage, Everfrost and Kiuas, so their metal pedigree is not remotely in doubt. Their debut album is called Imperium Romanum, and it’s a lot of fun. Metal De Facto is pretty fixated on the Roman Empire with this album, which is odd for a Finnish band but I guess they can’t all sing about Vikings and longboats. Imperium Romanum is a high-speed, keyboard-drenched history lesson about glorious battles, brothers in arms and marching out to conquer for the glory of the empire. There’s more than a little Stratovarius influence here, but with more of a Manowar crunch and some Iron Savior elements, especially when the big backing vocals kick in. There’s a ton of energy here, and even with some extra-synthy moments this is a great reminder of why this kind of high-speed, ultra-melodic, over the top power metal is so much fun. There’s a lot to like on Imperium Romanum, from the speed and heaviness of album openers “The Conqueror” and “Legionnaires’ Oath” to the more epic “Ides Of March” and “Germanicus.” Even the synth-heavy, sing-songy “Inferno” and “Bacchanalia” have their moments. “Ascending To Jupiter” may be the album’s best song, distilling everything about the band’s song into the perfect 4+ minute capsule. Imperium Romanum is a very impressive debut from a band that should appeal to a wide array of power metal fans. Aside perhaps from their band name, Metal De Facto gets just about everything right with this album, perfectly bridging the gap between old and new school power metal.
Summary: Not so great name, pretty great album