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Deus Ex Machina - Gladium Caeli CD (album) cover

GLADIUM CAELI

Deus Ex Machina

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.08 | 32 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

infandous
3 stars 3.5 stars really!

I pulled this out after not hearing it for a while. I remeber taking a few listens to warm up to it initially, as it is musically much more immature than their later albums. But even then, the playing and writing is still quite good. This is, however, probably the only album by them where you can hear "classic" prog influences, sometimes warn very much on their sleeves (like the ending keyboards to the title track, sounding almost identical to the beginning of Watcher of The Skies, amoung a few other things). I only wish I knew what the concept and story are about! It is a rock opera I've read, so I suspect knowing what it is all about might help with a deeper appreciation. But that is not crucial for enjoyment.

What brings this album down for me is the recording quality. I understand it was done more or less live in the studio, with a few overdubs over only a couple of days, so it's not surprising that this would not yeild stellar results. It does, in fact, sound like a live album. But I find it is much quieter than other CD's I have, so I have to turn it up quite high just to hear it at a normal (not overly loud) volume. There is some noticable distortion on the high end, and some of the keyboard sounds cut through my eardrums like a knife. I also am sympathetic to other reviewers concerns with the vocals. I love Piras' vocals on De Republica. In fact, he is one of my favorite singers just based on that album alone. But here, he goes WAY over the top with his screams and vocal histrionics. This does not really ruin the album, but it does make some parts hard to listen to. The bulk of the vocals are, however, quite well done, with some excellent harmonies (all by Piras I assume) on the title song and Arbor.

The first 3 tracks are my favorites, but I don't dislike any of them. Aside from my above complaints, a very impressive debut for any band, but probably not the place to start with this band. Go with De Republica for starters for sure. But if you already have that and like the band, this is worth getting.

| 3/5 |

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