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Montreal, Canada's Ex Deo is a side project formed in 2008 by Kataklysm frontman Maurizio Iacono, who wished to combine his death metal experience with his passion for history -- in this case, specifically focused on the Roman Empire, as evidenced by the title of 2009's debut album, the Nuclear Blast-issued Romulus. With Iacono handling all lyrics and vocals, the recording lineup was fleshed out by Kataklysm members Stéphane Barbe (guitar), Jean-François Dagenais (guitar), François Mongrain (bass), and Max Duhamel (drums), as well as Blackguard keyboardist Jonathan Leduc and also featuring guest appearances by Nile's Karl Sanders, Keep of Kalessin's Obsidian C., and Behemoth's Nergal. Also worth noting is that the album itself boasted a far more melodic brand of death metal to back those mythical/historic lyrics than the ultra-complex and inaccessible style typically favored by Kataklysm. The band moved to Napalm for its 2012 sophomore outing, Caligvla, which featured guest appearances by Seth Siro (Septic Flesh), Mariangela Demurtas (Tristania), Stefano Fiori (Graveworm), and Francesco Artusato (All Shall Perish). In 2017, after a five-year hiatus, Ex Deo returned to the studio and delivered the ambitious Immortal Wars, which used the Punic Wars -- a bloody trio of wars between Rome and Carthage led by legendary generals Hannibal and Scipio Africanus -- as its narrative foundation. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia