[Blast Head Records]
[16th April 2013]
01. Betrayer From Thrace
02. Sanguine Pluit in Arena
03. The Endless Runaway
04. Crixius Flags Of Dishonor
05. Duelling The Shadow Of Spartacus
06. Mars Unpredictable Favour
07. Decimate The Coward
08. Six Thousands Crosses
09. Divinitus Victor
10. For Everything To Be The Same…
Ade are a technical death metal band from Italy that have a sound very much influenced by ancient Roman culture. In fact, they sound like if Nile were members of the Roman legions instead of being American. They add many musical elements reminiscent of ancient Greek culture, which was used by Roman legions in war, fusing it with ferocious technical death metal. Their first album, Prooemivm Sangvine, was released in 2009 to little fanfare, and now in 2013 they are ready to unleash their second assault on the world. The new album, Spartacus, features Nile drummer George Kollias on drums, which will only serve to add to the Nile comparisons. In Spartacus, however, Ade have birthed a beast of an album, easily worthy of those comparisons.
Ade’s lyrical themes cover the past, origins, and cultures of their home country of Italy, and are written in both English and Latin. The Roman themes can be pretty silly, seen as more of a gimmick than anything serious, but seeing as Ade are from Rome, and the fact that they incorporate the musical themes into their furious brand of death metal so well, allows this album to sound like it should be taken seriously. The instrumentation is especially good, the implementation of choirs and “ancient instruments” played by Simone D’Andrea giving the music a truly ominous tone. Songs like “Betrayer From Thrace” and “Duelling in the Shadow of Spartacus” sound like battle anthems for the ancient Roman legions, as they conquer yet more tribes under the blessing of Mars, further expanding the Pax Romana.
Musically, this is a more technical form of death metal, similar to that played by Nile as previously mentioned. The guitars twist and turn around each other, providing vicious rhythmic patterns mixed with glorious dark melodies. The tempo shifts constantly, flowing from hard-edged death metal riffing to more grandiose melodic sections with ease. They aren’t overly technical, on occasion, even content to let other instruments carry the music. Some of the ethnic instrumentation does feel a little forced, when the rest of the music stops for two beats just for a quick strum of whatever instrument it is that is being used. The times when the “ancient instruments” are used in conjunction with the guitar are natural sounding, but outside that it seems more like the band going “Oh hey look we’re ancient Roman death metal!” They do add an interesting dimension, but it feels like those little sections could have been done a little bit better. The best example might come on the final track, “For Everything To Be The Same…” which, in the middle, morphs into a passage where the guitars, bass, and ancient instruments trade back and forth over a sparse drum beat. The song is probably the best on the album, sprawling, grand, dark, and primal. The drumming from Kollias is masterful, a perfect compliment to the conquering rage that the band exude.
Spartacus is an excellent album from this fledgling band, who promise to be a major force in the future. Ade have since found a permanent drummer, who will hopefully be able to match the sheer carnage that Kollias provided. They are most easily compared to Nile, but Fleshgod Apocalypse and Hour of Penance are also good comparisons to draw. The music is technical, brutal, melodic, fierce, and is a damn fine example of what the band call “ancient Roman death metal” The top tracks include “For Everything to Be the Same…” “Duelling in the Shadow of Spartacus” and “Decimate the Crowd”. The ethnic musical elements don’t always work perfectly, but when they do they fit very well. It’s nothing too new outside that, but it is worth a listen.
This is absolutely recommended for any fan of death metal with a twist, or of technical death metal.