“Let them hate me, so that they will but fear me.” Caligula
It was the year 37 AD when Rome saw the rise to power of one of the most brutal and ruthless of all Roman emperors Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, better known as Caligula. His story is full of blood, murder, fear and madness, and his reign was one of the most controversial and ruthless in Roman history.
Caligula was born August 31st 12 AD, and 2000 years later a handful of Roman legionaries known as Ex Deo are releasing a concept album about the feared Roman emperor. The album titled only Caligvla opens with I, Caligvla which is a self perspective of Caligula, his power and his self-proclaimed divinity. The Tiberius Cliff (Exile To Capri) describes the place of execution from which the Emperor Tiberius punished his enemies by throwing them down a cliff, is also the place where Caligula lived before he became emperor after the death of Tiberius. Per Oculus Aquila or (By Eagle Eye) and Divide et impera or (Divide and Conquer) are both heavy Roman military songs, about the enduring and importance of the Roman soldier, and his mission of expand and protect the empire. Both songs are really fast and strong.
Pollice Verso (Damnation Ad Bestia) or (Thumbs Down) is a tribute to those that died in the arena of the coliseum in order to entertain a bloodthirsty Roman crowd. The gladiators, slaves trained to fight to the death between them to survive. Burned To Serve As Nocturnal Light is an anthem to the death and punishment to those that offend the empire, the song itself is fast, tight and really straight in your face metal. Teutoburg (Ambush Of Varus) Perhaps one of the most crushing defeats that the Roman empire ever suffered on their Germanic campaign. Three Roman legions were destroyed by Germanic tribes in the Teutoburg forest, years later the Romans retaliate by taking control of the area with a series of successful military campaigns.
Along The Appian Way, is a description of the mother of all the roads and main artery of the Roman empire, also the place in which Spartacus the rebel gladiator was crucified. Once Were Romans, represents what meant to be a Roman. Pride, fear, sacrifice, debauchery, blood and loyalty. All collapsing on the different aspects of the greatest empire ever known. To close up the album, Ex Deo takes us back to the origin The Temple Of Castor And Pollux, a great instrumental piece filled with symphonic arrangements that brings back memories of those 50’s and 60’s Roman films.
The whole concept album around a figure as dark and evil as Caligula is the first thing that called my attention about this release, and the result don’t disappoints, the story of the emperor and his days of fear, games, murder, debauchery are exposed through the album. This time Ex Deo goes further into the heart of the empire, not only the music is brutal as the lyrics are, but Caligvla will leave you demanding more, perhaps a Nero or a Julius Cesar album might be the next destination for the Roman legionaries of Ex Deo.
01. I, Caligvla
02. The Tiberius Cliff (Exile To Capri)
03. Per Oculos Aquila
04. Pollice Verso (Damnatio Ad Bestia)
05. Divide Et Impera
06. Burned To Serve As Nocturnal Light
07. Teutuborg (Ambush Of Varus)
08. Along The Appian Way
09. Once Were Romans
10. Evocatio: The Temple Of Castor & Pollux