So the question you probably have is just how “prog” are Ex Deo? Conceptually, it does not get much more prog than anything that this band has done. Their third album “The Immortal Wars” is based on the legendary Carthaginian General, Hannibal. Hannibal’s legendary attack on Rome by leading War ELEPHANTS over the Pyrenees and the Alps into Italy is one of the most remarkable military strategies in history.
Musically, while the band is effectively Kataklysm (who I love), they are symphonic death metal to the core. The music FITS the subject matter perfectly. From the opener “The Rise of Hannibal,” which sets the epic stage for what’s to come, to the bombast of “Crossing the Alps” to the meditative interlude “Suavetaurilia (Intermezzo),” this album has everything to fit such an epic, historical topic.
“The Immortal Wars” has Ex Deo firing on all cylinders. The dual guitar solo in “Crossing the Alps” brings to mind Iron Maiden, who really could have done an album like this one, both subject matter-wise and musically. “Ad Victoriam (The Battle of Zama)” is another orchestral masterpiece with the sound of marching troops set off by guitars, strings and the razor sharp vocals of Maurizio Iacono.
I am really glad that Ex Deo didn’t stay on hiatus for long. “The Immortal Wars” is proof that Iacono’s passion for his Italian heritage, along with his knowledge of history, translates seamlessly to his music. It doesn’t get bigger or bolder than “The Immortal Wars” and I challenge any prog band to up their “EPICNESS” to this level.
1. The Rise of Hannibal
2. Hispania (The 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
Label: Napalm Records