Rating:
3.5
Ex Deo - Romulus
19 June 2009


01. Romulus
02. Storm The Gates Of Alesia [feat. Nergal]
03. Cry Havoc
04. In Her Dark Embrace
05. Invictus
06. The Final War (Battle Of Actium) [feat. Karl Sanders]
07. Legio XIII
08. Blood, Courage And The Gods That Walk The Earth
09. Cruor Nostri Abbas [feat. Obsidian C.]
10. Surrender The Sun
11. The Pantheon (Jupiter's Reign)


Epic Melodic Death metal
Nuclear Blast
Canada
Length: 1:01:41


Ex Deo is Maurizio Iacono of Kataklysm fame's new little toy. Lets face it though, he probably got drunk one night and thought "yeah - lets do some really epic album, because that's popular at the moment, and lets make it completely not generic at all." Well guess what, the first album from this project Romulus is the most generic thing since taking the tedious walk to the toilet and back.

With this project, he has in effect managed to temporarily re-name Kataklysm, as all four members of Kataklysm are a part of this project in some way. The guitar riffs have the same sound and style to them as Kataklysm, with the difference that they are all a quarter of the speed. The guitar parts like every other instrument on this album sound like they were written all in the same night this whole Ex Deo idea was conceived.

Romulus is an abysmal attempt to cash in on the whole epic trend, with tiresome battle and Roman history themes. This has to be some kind of joke doesn't it? The entire album sticks to the same lacklustre pace throughout, and is as inspired as what might pop out on one of those tedious journeys. Repeating lyrics "hail! hail! hail! Julius Caesar" is just genius, surely.

Perhaps the most frustrating thing about Romulus is that he managed to get some talented guests to perform on this album and presumably sat around playing Mario Kart with them all day instead of getting them to put any kind of notable input to the album. If the combined input of guests Karl Sanders of Nile, Nergal of Behemoth and Mr Claw from Keep Of Kalessin cannot salvage anything worth listening to from this album, then nothing can.

Ex Deo are going to be a touring band, so perhaps something will work on stage, but as it is Romulus is over an hour of mashed together, uninspired, uninteresting, slow nothingness. Do not let its high status guests, or Kataklysm ties lead you down the garden path.

Performance: 5
Songwriting: 3
Originality: 3
Production: 8


Band profile: Ex Deo
Album: Romulus


 



Written on 29.08.2009 by
Baz Anderson
Member of Staff since 2006.
More reviews by Baz Anderson ››

Guest review by
Windrider

Rating:
8.4
Since this album is rated so low, I think there is need of someone claiming the positive side of Romulus by Ex Deo. As we all know, this is a side project of the Kataklysm members led by vocalist Maurizio Iacono. At first it is important to state that this is not Kataklysm, but a different band. The vocals consist a lot more of the epic screams of Maurizio Iacono and we have a second guitar played by Kataklysm-bassist Stephane Barbe. The maybe biggest difference is the use of keyboards in this new band.

Read more ››
published 30.01.2011 | Comments (2)



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Doc Godin - 29.08.2009 at 13:13  
Br00tal. I didn't find it horrible, though I did find it quite disappointing. I heard a demo a few months back and got excited, it sounded interesting yet lack-lustre at the same time, so I hoped it was just the unmastered quality that was holding it back...nothing seemed to change.

While I wouldn't entirely agree with the severity of the rating, I really can't argue with the content of your review at all, nice review.

"...and presumably sat around playing Mario Kart with them all day..."
That part cracked me up quite a bit.
Marcel Hubregtse - 29.08.2009 at 13:19  
Btw the Roman history theme has been done by Maurizio a long time ago already, way before it was invogue to do such stuff. He already did that on Kataklysm's 2001 album Epic: The Poetry of War.

This ex-deo album is a bad album indeed but a 3.5 is a bit too harsh imo I would say it's on a par in crapiness with Korpiklaani's latest so a 5 would be fair.
HardSide - 29.08.2009 at 14:52  
Agree with Marcel. Review is pretty harsh, worser albums have gotten better ratings, The album does have a slow pace on some songs, but the vocals, atmosphere of the album is what make the album, the lyrics don't make up the music, if that was the case every thrash album here should have a lower rating with them just repeating the same words over and over.

Definately a 7-8 rating is deserved, this is the lowest rating I've seen for this album yet. You focus more on the members than the music itself. I suggest for others to try it out.
MétalNoir - 29.08.2009 at 19:06  
I certainly shall try to make a suitable and fair review for this great album, since I rate it 9 and I don't think it's overmade, I really love Romulus, even though it's slower than most highly commercial stuff, and I really think it is a genial idea all in all. This review is unnescesarily harsh and I will do my best to destroy it with mine.
Elio - 29.08.2009 at 19:12  
Written by MétalNoir on 29.08.2009 at 19:06

I certainly shall try to make a suitable and fair review for this great album, since I rate it 9 and I don't think it's overmade, I really love Romulus, even though it's slower than most highly commercial stuff, and I really think it is a genial idea all in all. This review is unnescesarily harsh and I will do my best to destroy it with mine.


Who can say yours will be fair?
Bas - 29.08.2009 at 19:21  
Just started listening to "Cruor Nostis Abbas" on myspace, your review having made me pretty curious as to what it's like. I really liked the beginning (from about 00:40 untill the vocals started) and was thinking "hey, this actually isn't bad at all!". Shortly after though it suddenly all went down the drain and became one of the most boring songs I have heard since a long long time.

If the whole album is like Cruor Nostis Abbas (or perhaps it's even one of the better songs if it's on myspace?) your rating is well-deserved. Funny review too, I enjoyed reading it.
K†ulu - 29.08.2009 at 22:21  
Didn't find this album boring. Not at all. Never listened to Kataklysm either though.
Pétur - 30.08.2009 at 05:25  
Great review and the grade is justified. Because this is nothing more then Kataklysm only played very slow and drawn out and tries so desperately to be epic but the only way it's epic, is epic fail.
Daggon - 30.08.2009 at 08:31  
Well, I listened to the song Romulus when they released a video for the song (which BTW was pure crap), then I listened to some more songs, those were so boring that I almost got comatose. The rating may be a bit harsh but, c'mon, this guys and their guests are not beginners... Yes, maybe they got drunk one night and thought this was a cool idea.

Mario Kart hehehe.
silenius - 30.08.2009 at 13:15  
Great review, fair rating, gonna put on ''serenity in fire´´ to remind me that these guys actually can do music..
enumaelis - 30.08.2009 at 18:40  
I agree with the review!
TheCybershifter - 30.08.2009 at 19:03  
In my opinion fair rating would be somewhere between 5 and 6,5... Heard lot of much worse stuff which were rated higher...
Sunioj - 30.08.2009 at 21:35  
Agree with review. Terrible, terrible album.
Njord - 01.09.2009 at 21:33  
Written by TheCybershifter on 30.08.2009 at 19:03

In my opinion fair rating would be somewhere between 5 and 6,5... Heard lot of much worse stuff which were rated higher...


I agree. This album is nothing really new, but is not so bad to deserve a 3.5
Hellme666 - 04.09.2009 at 08:44  
The album ain't the best shit to have seen the market in 2009, that is true. I, for myself, like the first 2-3 songs a lot, Romulus (the song) is epic and will kick some ass live.

Though, it really sounds like Kataklysm too much, just slowed down, and it saddens me that they didn't do something better. Maurizio is a great frontman/singer/songwriter, he did some amazing stuff with Kataklysm, so I had high hopes for Ex Deo...sadly, hopes are not always alright. Like I said, the first 2-3 songs are okay, but after that, it starts to sound the same stuff over and over, and it gets boring as fuck -_-

Still, I'm awaiting their first North American tour with Ensiferum this fall
bloodwrage - 05.09.2009 at 09:46  
Written by Hellme666 on 04.09.2009 at 08:44

The album ain't the best shit to have seen the market in 2009, that is true. I, for myself, like the first 2-3 songs a lot, Romulus (the song) is epic and will kick some ass live.

Though, it really sounds like Kataklysm too much, just slowed down, and it saddens me that they didn't do something better. Maurizio is a great frontman/singer/songwriter, he did some amazing stuff with Kataklysm, so I had high hopes for Ex Deo...sadly, hopes are not always alright. Like I said, the first 2-3 songs are okay, but after that, it starts to sound the same stuff over and over, and it gets boring as fuck -_-

Still, I'm awaiting their first North American tour with Ensiferum this fall

Yeah, this album isn't that good, but I hope they're at least entertaining live.
Hellme666 - 05.09.2009 at 16:23  
Written by bloodwrage on 05.09.2009 at 09:46

Written by Hellme666 on 04.09.2009 at 08:44

The album ain't the best shit to have seen the market in 2009, that is true. I, for myself, like the first 2-3 songs a lot, Romulus (the song) is epic and will kick some ass live.

Though, it really sounds like Kataklysm too much, just slowed down, and it saddens me that they didn't do something better. Maurizio is a great frontman/singer/songwriter, he did some amazing stuff with Kataklysm, so I had high hopes for Ex Deo...sadly, hopes are not always alright. Like I said, the first 2-3 songs are okay, but after that, it starts to sound the same stuff over and over, and it gets boring as fuck -_-

Still, I'm awaiting their first North American tour with Ensiferum this fall

Yeah, this album isn't that good, but I hope they're at least entertaining live.

Knowing Maurizio, it should be something pretty badass to see live. They better be, cuze if they suck live, they will not do another album nor tour and the live of Ex Deo will end right there.
Warrior_Of_Ice - 16.09.2009 at 21:04  
Why the harsh criticisms of Romulus? This album truly foreshadows the grandeur of the Roman Empire and conveys to the listener what it meant to be a son of Rome. Personally, this piece of art inspired me believe that history and metal must be coupled in order to educate fans of metal. I strongly encourage artists to promote historical facts and events with accuracy, taste and creativity in order to maintain the memories of the past. I support Maurizio Iacono's work and kindly ask listeners to keep an open mind when listening to this album.
Doc Godin - 16.09.2009 at 23:43  
Written by Warrior_Of_Ice on 16.09.2009 at 21:04

Why the harsh criticisms of Romulus? This album truly foreshadows the grandeur of the Roman Empire and conveys to the listener what it meant to be a son of Rome. Personally, this piece of art inspired me believe that history and metal must be coupled in order to educate fans of metal. I strongly encourage artists to promote historical facts and events with accuracy, taste and creativity in order to maintain the memories of the past. I support Maurizio Iacono's work and kindly ask listeners to keep an open mind when listening to this album.

Open mind? Open mind to what exactly? It's an overdone concept done poorly.
Warrior_Of_Ice - 17.09.2009 at 03:09  
Overdone concept done poorly? that's subjective. not saying this album will go down in metalstorm history as 2009's greatest album, however i can't quite grasp what you see wrong with this album.
Derwood - 24.09.2009 at 08:14  
I was pretty dismissive of this album with my first listen, but for some reason I keep going back to it and it keeps growing on me. I find its one I prefer to take in one listen as it works best as a complete album. There is a real connection between the feel of the music and the subject matter that only comes through when it is taken as a whole work that simply doesn't come across in the individual songs. The atmosphere needs time to percolate.
Ellrohir - 25.09.2009 at 12:39  
Such a low rating surprises me after what i heard good about Ex Deo from friends...
Tatras - 25.11.2009 at 20:16  
Heh my rating is much lower than 3,5... this album is horrible :/ So boring
Edmund Fogg - 29.03.2010 at 21:11  
Hmmm...Well,I guess musical taste differs from a person to another.I for one loved this album when it came out.The vocals are4 superb and the slowed down paste works great to create a Doomish atmosphere.
Doc Godin - 01.04.2010 at 11:23  
Written by Edmund Fogg on 29.03.2010 at 21:11

Hmmm...Well,I guess musical taste differs from a person to another.I for one loved this album when it came out.The vocals are4 superb and the slowed down paste works great to create a Doomish atmosphere.

Doomish atmosphere? Man...That just seems so weird. It lacks any grooves or atmosphere that you can find in doom, but it's too slow to be any sort of threatening type extreme metal release. It's like it ripped a hole in the mediocrity continuum, and nestled in snuggly.
Edmund Fogg - 20.05.2010 at 01:34  
Written by Doc Godin on 01.04.2010 at 11:23

Written by Edmund Fogg on 29.03.2010 at 21:11



Doomish atmosphere? Man...That just seems so weird. It lacks any grooves or atmosphere that you can find in doom, but it's too slow to be any sort of threatening type extreme metal release. It's like it ripped a hole in the mediocrity continuum, and nestled in snuggly.

Lol.After giving it another spin today I realized I was wrong when I bought the album.It doesn't hold any Doom caracteristics and it is not a release I enjoy now as much as I did.Their is stis some catchy riffs but it truly is nothing more than background music.
BreadGod - 20.05.2010 at 01:50  
I agree. When I listened to this album, I thought it was really, really boring.
Windrider - 27.06.2010 at 22:42  
Can't agree to this so-called Staff-Review, if you get behind the stories the lyrics tell you will find out that this album is a product of a good research, which deals with interesting and epic details of the Roman Empire.
You can say the music is not as good as Kataklysm (This album got me to Kataklysm and I like both bands now), but actually it has great highlights and underlines the topics in a way you would expect in a Roman-themed band.
Love this album, it is worth listening every time and sometimes gives you the feeling of a time machine!
Baz Anderson - 27.06.2010 at 23:26  
If I wanted a story, I'd read a book.
Doc Godin - 28.06.2010 at 09:13  
Written by Windrider on 27.06.2010 at 22:42

Can't agree to this so-called Staff-Review, if you get behind the stories the lyrics tell you will find out that this album is a product of a good research, which deals with interesting and epic details of the Roman Empire.
You can say the music is not as good as Kataklysm (This album got me to Kataklysm and I like both bands now), but actually it has great highlights and underlines the topics in a way you would expect in a Roman-themed band.
Love this album, it is worth listening every time and sometimes gives you the feeling of a time machine!

MetalStorm is a music website. Lyrical content isn't the main focus of our reviews.
Windrider - 28.06.2010 at 17:12  
Written by Doc Godin on 28.06.2010 at 09:13

Written by Windrider on 27.06.2010 at 22:42

Can't agree to this so-called Staff-Review, if you get behind the stories the lyrics tell you will find out that this album is a product of a good research, which deals with interesting and epic details of the Roman Empire.
You can say the music is not as good as Kataklysm (This album got me to Kataklysm and I like both bands now), but actually it has great highlights and underlines the topics in a way you would expect in a Roman-themed band.
Love this album, it is worth listening every time and sometimes gives you the feeling of a time machine!

MetalStorm is a music website. Lyrical content isn't the main focus of our reviews.


Right, the music isn't superb I know, but for me the lyrics count too, at least in this album (due to huge interest in the roman empire), so it's ok anyway, I have my own reasons rating albums and I'm fine with other's opinions.
Ankh Amen - 04.07.2010 at 22:55  
I think this one is definitely not as bad as the review says. I like Legio XIII for example, this song is quite catchy. The whole album deserves a 6 or 7, it has its own atmosphere.
Oerath Windsoul - 16.07.2010 at 00:09  
I've to say that I do not agree with the review, instead I find this album to be quite good, I like of history and expecially the lyrics on this album's songs are good, my favourite songs are: Legio XIII, Romulus, The Final War and Storm The Gates of Alesia (Nergal did a fine job there), also as I've recently watched Rome (television series) it boosted me to listen to Ex Deo, and always when I hear 'Legio XIII' I remember a fine scene from Rome itself.
moe5512 - 27.07.2010 at 14:14  
I think the album is great :/
BaneConall - 30.11.2010 at 18:22  
Did anyone else notice that the guitars are out of tune sometimes?
wormdrink414 - 17.02.2011 at 09:38  
3.5 ain't low enough. Just looking at the album cover makes me cringe.
JD - 29.09.2011 at 03:07  
Yeah this is very generic, boring, slow, and long-ass album, I don't know if I'm able to listen to the whole album again. The only enjoyable thing is Maurizio's screams, he is such a great vocalist, my favorite song will be probably "In Her Dark Embrace". The whole album deserves 4.5 but I won't listen to it again, that's for sure, exept the track "IHDE".
Lord_Regnier - 21.07.2014 at 03:46  
That's some seriously boring stuff.

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