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: dis​cogs​.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)