Ex Deo : The Thirteen Years Of Nero - Four years after the release of their highly anticipated album The Immortal Wars (2017), Juno Award-nominated EX DEO returns with more massive, brutal soundscapes than ever! The Roman Empire inspired death metal band's newest release, The Thirteen Years Of Nero, transports the listener back to Ancient Rome with 10 cinematic masterpieces that tell the emotional, conceptual story of the reign of Emperor Nero. Accented by sounds of ancient instruments like lyra and harp and detailing the harrowing stories of Nero's surroundings, close allies and enemies, listeners will connect with intense psychological tones of political turmoil and paranoia. As always, the Canadian unit is led by founding frontman Maurizio Iacono (Kataklysm) and producer/guitarist Jean-Franois Dagenais (Kataklysm, Misery Index, Despised Icon), but this time, features the stylings of Jeramie Kling (Venom Inc.) on drums and Clemens Wijers (Carach Angren, Lindemann) manning the album's intense orchestral score. The Thirteen Years Of Nero pierces through the silence with it's first auditory spear, "The Fall Of Claudius", immediately drawing the listener in with a savagely heavy, grooving riff, ground-shaking swells and warning strings and horns. Discordant harmonies collide as a mosh-worthy battle riff chugs and pinches through the center of the song, showcasing the ruthlessness to come. Second track "Imperator" connects with a colossal, threatening introduction with lyra-laced accents, before slithering into it's verses with low guitars, trudging isolated drums and haunting, multi-layered vocal passages. Merciless "The Head Of The Snake" and unforgivingly immense "Britannia: The 9th At Camulodonum" balance sinister, spectral-like channels with up-tempo elements, racing like a chariot of symphonic death metal influences that careen the listener back to a sonic dimension of time forgotten. Standout opus "Boudicca (Queen Of The Iceni)" features the deft vocal stylings of Unleash The Archers frontwoman Brittney Slayes, the album's weightiest thunderous percussion work and a glistening guitar solo, while the embers of pulsing "The Fiddle & The Fire" spark as the track traverses methodically yet steadfastly, like an iron striking a blade. "Son Of The Deified" and "What Artist Dies In Me..." bestow some of the album's most strikingly dynamic guitar work, as well as ominous instrumentals, orchestral and choral pathways, before closing with the superb epic "The Revolt of Galba". The track ebbs and flows between grooving, eerie piano-laden riffs and crystal-clear flourishes bestrewn with soaring strings. With The Thirteen Years Of Nero, EX DEO have released their finest work yet while telling a timeless story of political intrigue, suspicion, evil and tyranny!