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Deus Ex Machina - Gladium Caeli CD (album) cover


Deus Ex Machina


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.10 | 41 ratings

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3 stars The start of something beautiful, and i am not quoting some better known artist.

I said that because Deus Ex Machina has been for years one of my favorite bands, not only in the realm of Italian prog, but in all the music in general i would put them in my top 10, there are some bands that i really love but have not reviewed any of their albums, this happens to DeM or Anekdoten for instance, and i believe a good wat to start reviewing their albums if from the beginning, with their first album entitled Gladium Caeli and released in 1991, time when people used to listen to mainstream things such as Metallica or Nirvana (of course i listened to them when i was a kid) a monster of progressive rock was giving birth to it`s first baby.

This album was not the first i listened to them, i actually knew first De Republica and Equilibrismo da Insofferenza which are both mind-blowing albums by the way, the fact is that when i discovered the band and those awesome albums, i wanted to explore a bit deeper in their music, i decided to go to their roots, to the early years, to their first sound, that`s how i found this great album which mixes jazz - fusion with symphonic music and some heavy moments, if you know their other albums, you know that the sound of this one is different, but still great, also (if i`m wrong please someone tell me) Claudio Trotta was not in the band when they released this first album, i mention that because i find Trotta`s drumming one of the best ever in the prog world, and of course it`s noticeable the difference from the drummer who was here.

Gladium Caeli features 7 songs (long songs by the way) and a total lenght of 65 minutes, so put the cd in your stereo, get in the mood and enjoy it because you will have a great time.

When you are listening to it, it is very probable that the first noise that will catch your attention are the vocals, i am sure that Alberto Piras` voice is unique but at the same time it`s one of those voices that either you love or hate, of course i choose the first option, another particular thing, is that as you may notice from the track titles, the songs are sung in Latin, strange no?, another extra point to this extraordinary original band.

The first track is Expergi which happens to be an important piece because it will show you what the band is made, the excellent music they can create, besides Piras`vocals, you will listen to the guitars and violins, a powerful beginning. Arbor is the longest song of this album with over 15 minutes long, the first minutes are just some nice random guitar sound, but then the progressiveness begin having inside some kind of musical jams, after some minutes the song becomes heavier and rockier, you will find a nice violin and flute sound and also a predominat guitar, the musical arrangements are excellent, but in some points it it`s pretty plain. Gladium Caeli the title track starts with a moody sound, with violins and some nice guitars riff, this song actually may be labelled as a classic Italian rock song, despite the different language, this is not the best song at all, in fact if you feel bored in the first minutes, you can skip it, no problem at all. Ignis Ab Caelo and Se Ipse Loquitur are short songs, both of them make only 7 minutes of music, both of them are very alike, with a bombastic beginning full of keyboards and violin, showing that they can be as bvombastic as they wish sometime, thing that they dont do anymore in their last albums, these songs are nice but i feel there`s a moment in which i prefer not to listen to them. Dialeghen is probably my favorite song of this album, another epic this time 14 minutes and kicking off with some nice bass lines and then flutes, guitars which makes a darker sound, the intro lapse is excellent, then the song turns a bit softer and melodic but few moments later it suddenly becomes heavier with that great guitar riffs and the heavy drums, a magnific song! And the last one is Omnia Evolvitur Sed Potest Mutari, a very nice track to finish a very nice album, the violin is predominant here at the beginning, but actually the song and structure itself is alike to the other songs.

I quite like this album, it shows the birth of a superb band and their first moves, some bands released their masterpiece in their first album, DeM fortunately not, so i will recommend this album to all DeM fans and also fans of original and different kind of prog, my rating is 3 stars, good but non-essential.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 3/5 |


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