After a short hiatus to give the focus back to his ‘day job’ Kataklysm, vocalist Maurizio Iacono is back with another epic symphonic death metal album full of tales from the Roman Empire.
The Immortal Wars is based primarily on the Punic Wars between Carthage and Rome, with the focus on generals Hannibal and Scipio Africanus. The symphonic element prevalent on previous album Caligvla is used to great cinematic effect ‘The Rise of Hannibal’, and the album continues in this very triumphant and storytelling vein, something the band is very good at.
Symphonic and cinematic elements are added as necessary to keep the story moving, such as the sound of elephants and men marching at the end of ‘Hispania (The Siege of Saguntum)’ as it leads into the more straight up melo-death sounding ‘Crossing the Alps’ with the horn section used to underly certain parts of the song. After the third track, I found myself very content with this album, perhaps one of the most cohesive concept albums to have grabbed my attention in a while. All the elements are here, an easy to follow story and great music used to good effect. Musically the album is held together tightly by drummer Oli Beaudoin (also from Kataklysm) at times playing like his life depends on it, other times taking a backseat and letting the symphonic elements take over. Maurizio’s vocals are clearer than anything he has done in Kataklysm, keeping the narrative easy to follow and the album closes as it opened with ‘The Roman’ possibly being one of the best songs produced by the band, bringing the story and this album, to a triumphant close.
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