It seems like there was a joke going around a few years back that had the basic gist of “everything I know about history I learned from Steve Harris”. You’re reading a heavy metal blog so I’m assuming you get the joke, but if not, Steve Harris of Iron Maiden writes a shitload of songs centered on historical events. Ex Deo feels like a chop off the block of Mr. Harris.
Ex Deo is Maurizio Iacono’s (vocalist of Kataklysm) Roman Empire obsessed side project. In theory, I really dig this project. It’s an obvious passion project for Iacono and it feels like he puts as much effort into it as he does with his main gig. However, in practice, I’ve been quite critical in that, despite the differences in subject matter, it’s sometimes very difficult to tell where Kataklysm ends and Ex Deo begins. Musically, they are extremely similar in their very He-Man approach to death metal. Plus, a good chunk of Ex Deo’s lineup is composed of other members of Kataklysm. It’s really not much of a shocker that the two projects kind of blend into one another.
The latest album may be my favorite of the Ex Deo releases up to this point. The main reason being that this one stands further afield from Kataklysm than the other Ex Deo albums do. There are more orchestrations and use of traditional world instruments are this album that give it a bit more of an authentic feel than their past albums.
3.5 flip flops out of 5