Despite just how cliché an album with Spartan themes could be, Ade’s ‘Spartacus’ pushes aside the a-typical cheesiness normally associated with these kinds of acts and sets the bar higher.
Make no mistake, this is death metal. Spartacus shows a flair for speed and brutality (all the things that should come naturally for a death metal band or album) but this Greek act also has a tendency to be technically verbose, shifting and shaping into a death metal powerhouse. Thankfully the band’s context is either focused lyrically or is in short and timed enough that the sections that help portray the album’s overall theme do so without being at all overbearing. Take heed, this is no ‘300’ movie, where all the blood was in the air and never on the ground. Instead, Ade’s ‘Spartacus’ triumphs in putting the blood everywhere. If anything is certain, it’s that these Athens bearing tech-death metal heads are fierce with their music. The band knows the stereotypes of the genre and instead of pushing on the boundaries with a feeble attempt at innovation, this rather steady death metal act use every ounce of the genre to maintain this up-tempo, furious sonic assault. Ade does have something that sets them apart from the ax-wielding competition. Sure, Nile and a few others have taken the oriental Egyptian theme and run with it, each taking their share of the success, but just how many bands have taken a Spartan/Roman theme and made an interesting, almost unique listen with it? Well, Ade has and the effect, is remarkably fresh.
As for the music itself, it’s unrelenting and hints at the ethical themes, rather than forcing every little tid-bit down the throat of the listener. Blast beats punch through triplet riffs, leads, quasi-break downs and stomp sections. Ade’s music was made for banging your head to. The Nile reference is suiting, considering that George Kollias (Nile as well as others) joined his instrumental forces with this Italian act to craft this solid, vibrant and enjoyable modern death metal affair. The guitars float relatively under the radar, not because they’re bland but because they are simply overshadowed by the drum work and the context found in the lyrics. Take a listen to ‘Crixius Flags Of Dishonor’, the track is a monolithic affair filled with slam, groove and neck snapping passages. Vocalist, Flavio is about the most consistent death metal vocalist on the death metal scene, his mid-range growls compliment the instrumental prowess found on Spartacus down to a T. The case could be made that he needs to vary throughout tracks, but the message is clear; Why deviate when this initial recipe is working so well? He simply does not have to change what he’s doing in order to maintain the interest of the listener.
Overall, Ade’s 2013 release marks a turning point in this young acts career. It might be a sophomore but with Spartacus, this death metal/Roman hybrid will gain steady attention from the metal community. Judging by the quality of music found throughout Spatacus’ length, it’s about time these guys starting turning some heads. Ade’s Spartacus is a modern take on historical themes, relatable, furious and rivals the death metal genres heavyweights.
- 01. Betrayer of Thrace
- 02. Sanguine pluit in arena
- 03. The endless runaway
- 04. Crixius flags of dishonor
- 05. Duelling the shadow of Spartacus
- 06. Mars’s unpredictable favour
- 07. Decimate the cowards
- 08. Six thousand crosses
- 09. Divinitus victor
- 10. …for everything to be the same