Ex Deo – The Immortal Wars

Rating: 4/5
Distributor/label: Napalm Records
Distributor/label URL: https://shop.napalmrecords.com/
Released: 2017
Buy Album: https://shop.napalmrecords.com/ex-deo-the-immortal-wars-canvas-editon.html
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/exdeo

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Band line-up:

Maurizio Iacono – Vocals
Stéphane Barbe – Lead guitar
Jean-Francois Dagenais – Rhythm guitar
François Mongrain – Bass guitar
Jonathan Leduc – Keyboards
Oli Beaudoin – Drums

Tracklisting:

1. The Rise of Hannibal
2. Hispania (Siege of Saguntum)
3. Crossing of the Alps
4. Suavetaurilia (Intermezzo)
5. Cato Major – Carthago Delenda Est!
6. Ad Victoriam (The Battle of Zama)
7. The Spoils of War
8. The Roman

Review:

And so we have the next chapter in Ex Deo’s grand death metal recounting of ancient history, now moving on to the life of mighty Hannibal. No, not Anthony Hopkins – Hannibal, the ancient world general.

“The Immortal Wars” maintains the band’s style of symphonic grandeur supporting death metal brutality, and though the death metal side might be this time a smidgen more melodic, it’s certainly not lacking in vicious crunch. “Epic” and “brutal” are certainly a fine couple of words for the ancient history the band focuses on. “Feel the might of Carthage!” cries the opening track, and we surely do.

Like Septicflesh, Ex Deo’s strength is in how well they put together the two primary elements of the music, with symphonic and death metal sides complimenting one another beautifully. “The Spoils of War” and “Rise of Hannibal” are perfect exemplars of this craft. The symphonies weave and swirl around the harsh parts, they put power behind every blow the music lands and leave its sword dripping with blood. In “Crossing of the Alps” we can picture the massive undertaking right there, in “Ad Victoriam (The Battle of Zama)” the steady, almost doom-ish feel of the song paints the picture of the defeat that would mark the decline of Hannibal as a general. Everything works to construct a vista of Hannibal’s life, all contributing to the story as it goes.

This record doesn’t break the mould the band have set out for themselves, but this is another solid chapter, and being only the third album in their career, I feel there’s plenty more fuel left here, especially with such a wealthy topic as ancient world history. Those looking for something to break boundaries and soar to new heights might find this album to be playing it a bit safe, but I think it’s more that the band have found their niche and are using it to great effect.

Review by Kieron Hayes
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