Deus Ex Machina - De Republica

Year of Release: 1995
Label: Kaliphonia
Catalog Number: KRC 009
Format: CD
Total Time: 66:11:00

De Republica is a chaotic masterpiece. Alberto Piras's vocals, riding over the frantic music, full of jazz fusion and avante garde solos and interludes, create a powerful effect, one that must be taken with the most serious regard. Deus Ex Machina (Bass, Drums, Guitar, Keys, Violin, Vocals) have taken a big step, and their music is challenging and very unique. Their ease with all the required elements of the genre is astounding. They produce a hard rocking, way over the top sound that brings forth stylistic elements of be-bop jazz, jazz/rock fusion and classical, and mix it all up to make a brew that is unlike any of their contemporaries.

Alberto Piras's vocals are the clear centrepiece of the bands sound, and not just because his vocals are delivered in Latin. His astounding range and unbelievable vocal power are just as unusual as the language he uses. He is not alone in his mastery of his instrument. The guitarist, Maurino Collina has one of the most devastating styles I have heard in long time. He blends the "before the beat" style of Frank Zappa's lead guitar spasms with the frenetic jazz licks of Jan Akkerman at his most extreme, and makes the busy, ever changing sound of DEM even more demented and eye opening. All the band members are top notch players, and they use their talents often, and well.

De Republica begins with a deceptively calm track, "Exordium." This is one of the most restrained and accessible tracks DEM has ever produced, and it is one of the highlights of this release. The sheer beauty of Piras's delivery on this cut is reason enough to give DEM a listen, but this track also features a wonderful organ solo, and challenging meter and song construction.

The other highlights of this strong release are "Res Publica II and III," both very fearless works, taking the band and its songwriting to new vistas. They present DEM's twisted take on the genre in a blazing light. They feature frequent changes of meter and tempo, and are platforms for the guitar, keyboards and violin to display their considerable chops. Claudio Trotta's drumming is incredibly active. He rarely lets more than a few measures pass without altering the beat in some way, and his powerhouse style is all the more impressive when one notes his tiny kit, in comparison with the huge sets played by Mike Portnoy and Neil Peart, the two you might first think of as his peers.

"Macte Aequitatum" and "Foederis Aequas Dicamus Leges are dazzling and crushing, a mix of bop influenced jazz and progressive metal. Maurino Collina displays an impressive grasp of a number of styles, and is able to switch back and forth among them regardless of the breakneck tempos in parts of these songs.

The CD's final track, "Dittura Della Mediocrite," is another huge bag of shining moments. It moves from crushing riffs to disjointed, atonal moments and back again. This band is as tight as anything you have ever heard, and their complex, ever evolving songs demand nothing less. At this point on the disc, there can be no doubt that Piras is the most unpredictable and engaging vocalist in many years. His delivery could be compared only to to the likes of Demetrio Stratos, and the mysterious sound of the Latin lyrics lends itself to his bellowing, yet clear and precise singing style, a style that eventually becomes one of the instruments in this bewildering and breathtaking CD. Many listenings will be needed to uncover the extent of what goes on when Deus Ex Machina plays, but it is worth the time. I think this is one of the best releases of the ninties international progressive rock resurgence. This is not the kind of music that you can stay lukewarm about. You will either love DEM, or flee in fear and loathing of them.

Exordium (9:15) / Res Publica I (2:01) / Res Publica II (5:55) / Res Publica III (10:01) / Macte Aequitatum (4:56) / Foedreis Aquas Dicamus Leges (5:51) / Aeterna Lex (1:05) / Perpetua Lux I (2:03) / Perpetua Lux II (5:56) / De Oraculis Novis I (4:29) / De Oraculis Novis II (3:32) / De Oraculis Novis III (2:15) / Dittatura Della Mediocrita (8:42)

Alberto Piras - vocals
Maurino Collina - guitars
Claudio Trotta - drums
Alessandro Porreca - bass
Alessandro Bonetti - violin
Fabrizio Puglisi - keyboards

Gladium Caeli (1991)
Deus Ex Machina (1992)
De Republica (1995)
Diacronia Metronomiche (1995)
Equilibrismo Da Insofferenza (1998)
Cinque (2002)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin IT

Added: May 16th 2004
Reviewer: Tom Karr
Artist website:
Hits: 1104
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]