By Mark Coatsworth
Brutal, crushing, epic metal to the march of Roman legions! With their debut Romulus, Ex Deo establishes a unique middle ground between the fierce brutality of Kataklysm and the storming pagan metal of Blackguard, Moonsorrow and Tyr. In ten tracks, Romulus recounts the history of the Ancient Romans, from the first struggle between wolf-bred brothers, “Romulus and Remus,” to the plunder of Rome and final collapse of the Empire. Song structures are unique and varied, tempos range from slow and brooding to full-frontal assault, twisting and turning through the wars, victories, defeats, ascension and collapse. Guitars pound forward to a rhythmic march and Maurizio’s vocals are powerful and commanding without sacrificing clarity or focus. Romulus is a welcome addition to the pagan metal catalogue, with a refreshing musical approach that trades keyboard solos for blastbeats, chants for guttural growls and Vikings for Roman legions. All without forfeiting the slightest bit of grandiosity.
(Nuclear Blast USA)