Review: Pantheon Legio Musica – Per Aspera ad Astra (2008)


artist: Pantheon Legio Musica
release: Per Aspera ad Astra
format: CD
year of release: 2008
label: Thonar
duration: 67:26

detailed info: discogs.com

I didn’t really expect anything special after reading about Pantheon Legio Musica. Another martial industrial band… I think there are a few too many already, and they all sound the same… Boring drums, plastic orchestras and samples. God, I’m so tired of samples! Therefore, I had really no expectations for this release. But that was before I heard it. This album, Pantheon Legio Musica’s first full-length, knocked me down from the first minute.
The theme here is ancient Rome, which you should have found out already, and they deliver the feelings one can get from a great video game / movie / documentary / etc. about that era very well. The (few) lyrics are often prayers to the Roman gods but there are also some historic tales, and the artwork is also very fitting to the theme.
The intro track shows the heavy drumming that is the red thread through this album. To begin with, it sounds kind of danceable, a bit like Laibach back in the days maybe. Then follows a more cinematic and orchestral track called “Vesta”. Throughout the tracks on this disc, these two styles are mixed very nicely. There are also traces of classic neofolk thrown in here and there, maybe most notable in “Pompeii”, with stylish female vocals, and “Memento” which sounds pretty much like the works of Rome (and now I’m speaking about the Cold Meat act Rome). These tracks are very good as well, and calms down your heartbeats between the war-drums and the strong choirs, which you will probably need because the album has impressive 16 tracks and sometimes it tends to be a little too long actually.

Per Aspera ad Astra really fulfils its purpose, to invoke feelings of an ancient, interesting time. I can easily imagine the Romans going to war to Pantheon Legio Musica’s music. Or see them burst out in a dance. And at the same time, it sounds really, really good. It is a very strong orchestral industrial album from a young band that could easily conquer the throne. Just a little more polish. One of their biggest opponents is Triarii and I must say that Pantheon Legio Musica has already won that battle.

Reviewed by CME

Tracklist:

01. SPQR (4:20)
02. Vesta (5:44)
03. Sacred Grove (5:33)
04. Son Of Jupiter (3:34)
05. Pantheon (4:58)
06. Pompeii (4:18)
07. Hymn to Kalliope & Apollon (3:28)
08. Asia Minor (4:14)
09. Ignis (4:44)
10. Prayer to Mars (4:06)
11. Legio XIX Augusta (5:24)
12. Herculaneum (5:30)
13. Roma Secunda (3:48)
14. Memento (3:54)
15. Omega (2:20)
16. Fragment (1:31)

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