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Featuring four members from Canadian cripplers Kataklysm, Ex-Deo (rounded out by members of Martyr and Blackgard) focuses on The Roman Empire as the subject matter for this sextetís incendiary offering ROMULUS. Masterfully harnessing melodic death metalís majestic overtones, this 11-track affair bids few surprises yet crushes with a menacing mid-tempo pace, recreating the epic history of the events behind the worldís greatest civilizationís rise and fall along the way. Sturdily built from a proper blend of cavernous chugging guitars, purposeful keyboard accoutrements, and ferocious vocals that accurately narrate the gory glories from the beleaguered battlefields, Ex-Deoís intriguing slant on Pagan metal renders a cohesive metal attack whose distinct cinematic scope and orchestral instrumentation radiates with the freshness that saves this disc from being cast as just another side project and is worthy for those who enjoy metal at its most sweeping and regal.
- Mike SOS