“The Immortal Wars”

By Dr. Abner Mality

Throughout the glorious history of the Roman Empire, no foe plagued them as much as the brilliant general Hannibal of Carthage. He delivered several humiliating defeats to the Romans until the Empire sent the wily Scipio Africanus to battle him. At the Battle of Zama in 202 B.C., the Romans finally delivered a devastating blow to Hannibal and his armies, leading to the ultimate downfall of Carthage.

So endeth the lesson for today! To tell the tale of the mighty clash between Hannibal and Rome, who better than Ex Deo, the symphonic death metallers who are obsessed with all things Roman.  I am amazed at how powerful and epic Ex Deo sounds when their “parent” band Kataklysm sounds so dull and pedestrian in recent times. But epic they are and this may be the best Ex Deo so far. “The Rise of Hannibal” initiates the action with a powerful blast of grinding mid-paced death metal injected with stirring brass and classical strings. The song indeed summons upall the martial glory of the ancient world.

The album proceeds in similar stately fashion with more symphonic death metal majesty. Maurizio Iacono’s bullish growls punctuate the onslaught. You can tell the band takes real care with the composition and integration of the symphonic  instruments. Listen to the stirring instrumental  “Suavetarillia” and tell me that doesn’t make your blood run faster much like a Basil Poledouris soundtrack would. “The Roman” is another fine example of how to do symphonic death metal correctly.

You might think you’ve been crushed by one of Hannibal’s war elephants once you’ve experienced the attack of “The Immortal Wars”!