Ex Deo - Caligvla

Caligvla
Track Listing: 
  1. I, Caligvla
  2. The Tiberius Cliffs (Exile To Capri)
  3. Per Oculus Aquila
  4. Divide Et Impera
  5. Pollice Verso (Damnatio Ad Bestia)
  6. Burned To Serve As Nocturnal Light
  7. Teutoburg (Ambush Of Varus)
  8. Along The Appian Way
  9. Once Were Romans
  10. The Temple Of Castor and Pollux

Rating: 
4

 

Death Metal fans are in for a nice surprise as Ex Deo attempts to resurrect history within their focus on Italy, Rome... this time towards the Emperor Gaius, also known as Caligula. The name Caligula has had a pretty solid place in Metal history, either on albums such as this or even as monikers such as 'Emperor Magus Caligula' (formerly) of Dark Funeral. So the name should not surprise most fans, nor should it surprise them that such a topic is coming from the Kataklysm side project of Ex Deo. On their debut album, many felt that Ex Deo was headed in an epic direction, but still somewhat tied into the entire Kataklysm sound... kind of the way some may have felt when they compared the sophomore effort of Torture Killer to Six Feet Under. As many may know... usually it is the vocals that make the music and with Ex Deo, having Maurizio Iacono at the mic, many felt it was still Kataklysm at heart.

'Caligvla' is Ex Deo revamped. For those who felt the debut album didn't deliver the idea of 'epic battle metal,' this effort does! From the heavy use of keyboards, choirs, and overall a thick, chugging and ferocious slaughter of guitars, it is no wonder that listeners will get torn between brutality and beauty when it comes to a track like "The Tiberius Cliff." Other tracks like "Burned To Serve As Nocturnal Light" are a bit more in the tradtional sense of Death Metal, but still features epic qualities. "Divide Et Impera" is the strongest track of all as Ex Deo pull out of the stops- throwing in chanting, a nice sect of female vocals, and even acoustic moments- that make it stand out from all the rest while still remaining crushing Death Metal. These chanting elements are mostly used for atmosphere and help support other tracks such as "Teuotoburg," but Ex Deo are fortunate enough not to over use them to the point of making the album sound cheesy. Even the long, drawn out "Once Was Romans" holds its weight with the slow, marching pace that seems to even overshadow the vocals in its grandeur, but it is the perfect way to close the album. By the time the last moment of the symphonic atmosphere, Death Metal fans will be convinced that 'Caligvla' is Ex Deo's defining moment of 'breaking out of the shell.'

Label Name: 
Napalm Records