Veni, vidi, vici.
-- Metal De Facto --
Review written by Nathalie Van Hecke.
Metal De Facto is a Finnish power metal band formed in late 2017 by Esa Orjatsalo (ex-Dreamtale) and Sami Hinkka (Ensiferum), who had met and discussed the deeper meanings of power metal while on board Ensiferum‘s tour bus. The lineup was soon completed with Atte Marttinen (ex-Kivimetsän Druidi), Benji Connelly (Everfrost), Mikko Salovaara (Leverage) and Mikael Salo (Everfrost). “Imperium Romanum” is the band’s debut album and is released through Italian record label Rockshots Records with distribution in the Benelux handled by Plastic Head and Bertus.
Metal de Facto’s main goal, starting with this first album, is to make power metal great again by ticking off all the classic power metal boxes. Catchy, soaring vocals, an endless supply of high-octane guitar riffs and marching drum and bass beats. Songs like “The Conqueror” and “The Ascending of Jupiter” focus on speed and adrenaline while tunes such as “Legionnaires’ Oath” and “Bacchanalia” put more emphasis on anthemic lyrics and tracks like “Ides of March” and “Germanicus” focus more on orchestration. But it doesn’t stop there, songs like “Inferno,” and the aforementioned “Bacchanalia” respectively add electronic beats and folk melodies into the power mix and finally “Echoes of Eternity” is an intimate ballad with acoustic guitar and flute.
Thematically, “Imperium Romanum” is a concept album about ancient Rome with each song dedicated to a certain aspect of Roman lore. It’s origins in the legend of the brothers Romulus and Remus (“The Conqueror”), the Roman pantheon of gods (“The Ascending of Jupiter”), the Colosseum, the assassination of Julius Caesar (“Ides of March”) and Rome’s military might (“Legionnaires’ Oath”). All songs are written from the perspective of many of Rome’s iconic characters, such as Romelus right after he violently took control of the city from his brother Remus, a centurion commanding his legion and the assassins of Julius Caesar. But the band don’t limit themselves to just the historic acts, but they also delve into the thoughts and philosophies behind those actions, offering much more depth into those tales that have already been told so many times in music.
Overall, “Imperium Romanum” is an absolutely stunning release and a great start for the band, beside the interesting storylines it’s also hugely enjoyable to listen to with the mind blowing solos, catchy choruses, powerful vocals and of course the fast-paced power metal ass-kicking! So if you’re looking for a varied ancient Roman history class with a lot of fun and partying or just like power metal in general, then Metal De Facto’s debut release is one gem you shouldn’t pass on. Metal De Facto found power metal a genre of bricks and left it a genre of marble. Here’s the music video for the album's opening track "The Conqueror."
Personal rating : 5/5