The Hippo

HOME| ADVERTISING| CONTACT US|

 
Aug 23, 2017







NEWS & FEATURES

POLITICAL

FOOD & DRINK

ARTS

MUSIC & NIGHTLIFE

POP CULTURE



BEST OF
CLASSIFIEDS
ADVERTISING
CONTACT US
PAST ISSUES
ABOUT US
MOBILE UPDATES
LIST MY CALENDAR ITEM


Ex Deo, The Immortal Wars (Napalm Records)




Ex Deo, The Immortal Wars (Napalm Records) 

Feels like it’s been long enough between reviews of those Napalm Records epic metal releases, and this one comes to us as a side project from Canadian dudes Kataklysm, who were once heralded as extreme-metal’s great white hope before “descending” into power-metal “fluff.” The Ex Deo premise is absolutely adorable, pomp-power-metal based on tales of ancient Rome and its wars and vomitoriums or whatever those guys used to do. Oh, the really adorable part is that the singer is Italian (get it? Rome?) and he’s surrounded by his “Gaul brethren” (get it? Canada?). This is so hopeless but cool I couldn’t turn it down, although I was a bit taken aback by the recipe, which indeed calls for some symphonic guitar parts, but the rest of this is comprised of old Mastodon sounds, from the riffs to the vocals. Just to remind us we’re supposed to be thinking about Flavius and not mud monsters, there are rumbly breaks with hammed up oaths straight out of 300, like “On this day I promise never to be a friend of Rome!” The big question is, do their groupies know who Caesar was? Will it matter? Sometimes I wish I could become a bug on the wall at will. B- — Eric W. Seager




Peter Erskine and the Dr. Um Band, Second Opinion (Fuzzy Music)
CD Reviews: February 23, 2017

02/23/17
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



Peter Erskine and the Dr. Um Band, Second Opinion (Fuzzy Music)

Nerds who pick up Modern Drummer for the articles and not the hot pix of Neil Peart are well aware of Erskine, who’s topped that magazine’s poll as Best Drummer 10 or so times. He’s been on more than 600 records and helped out on a bunch of soundtracks, including all three Austin Powers movies. Sad that someone who’s so famous in certain circles needs that kind of introduction, but there you are — jazz heads are just happy for any written press, believe me. John Beasley on keys and Bob Shepperd on sax and flute front Erskine and bassist Benjamin Shepherd — it’s a package that sounds small, but the sounds are surprisingly large, starting with opener “Hipnotherapy,” which finds Erskine keeping simple time for a lazy hot-summer-midnight groove whose urbanity is pure Yellowjackets. Shepherd puts on a bass clinic in “Eleven Eleven,” bubbling away and barely coming up for air in this 1970s-funk-injected exercise, heavily reminiscent of vintage Ramsey Lewis owing to Beasley’s simple but busy electric piano (Shepperd’s sax is wide-screen in that one also). This one is a go-to for laid-back soundscaping; even the hotter tracks are sublime and friendly. I’ll be pulling this one out often. A+ — Eric W. Seager

 






®2017 Hippo Press. site by wedu