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Deus Ex Machina - De Republica CD (album) cover

DE REPUBLICA

Deus Ex Machina

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.94 | 54 ratings

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Hibou
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I remember coming out of the theater years ago, after watching the Monty Python movie "The Meaning of Life" with my husband. Our brains totally out of kilter, our eyes almost popping out of their sockets and our bottom jaws scraping the ground, we stood on the sidewalk, shaking our heads and gaping at each other for almost a full minute. Then hubby finally blurted out : What the h.... was THAT??? We then burst into a fit of laughter that never totally died out, as the same giddiness grabs us every time we recall the genial excesses of those mighty Python sketches.

That's exactly the kind of lunacy DEUS EX MACHINA delivers on "De Republica": strange, bizarre, excessive and absolutely genial. The entire album is a roller-coaster ride of frantic be-bop, jazz-rock, fusion, classical, even operatic sounds. It's KING CRIMSON on steroids, Jean-Luc Ponty on speed, Jan Akkerman gone completely wacko.

This music is intricate, jerky, even chaotic, but never improvised. Its furious tempo and constant turn-abouts create a tension that is both unnerving and exciting, and the album is full of incredible melodic hooks (this, coming from a symphonic prog lover, should tell you something about its melodious merits). And the musicianship is as tight as can be: from the blazing guitars, incendiary drums and killer bass down to the feverish violin (so Ponty like) and the less noticeable but so appropriate keyboard interventions, eveything gels perfectly. A veritable molotov cocktail of demented prog.

As for vocalist Alberto Piras - call him a prog Pavarotti - some of you will undoubtedly want to whack him over the head (preferably with a heavy object). A real 'in-your-face' type of voice, if you know what I mean - something like a shrieking human saxophone blasting straight into your ear canal. In other words, you either like him or loathe him; but you'll have the admit the man has incredible vocal skills and talent to boot. From begining to end, he is totally in control of his art. He sings in Latin, you say? Oh, my, I'm always too overwhelmed by those vocal pyrotechnics to actually notice 'what' he is saying.

Like a freight train roaring through a china shop, the music of "De Republica" simply can't be ignored. It definitely takes some getting used to (readers beware: this is not your easy-listening, Camelogue type of prog), but the trip is well worth it. I am totally enamoured with this album and convinced I'll still be listening to it with equal pleasure many years ahead. Definitely worth looking up: "De Republica" really cooks! Worth a full 4.8 stars, the remaining 0.2 due to the unforgiveable fade-outs on practically all but the last track.

Hibou | 4/5 |

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