US project EXERCITUS DEI is a side project for composer and musician Jim Baptizer (of Baptizer), focusing more on ambient sounds than the more demanding industrial and power electronics explored through the Baptizer project. “Christus Vincit” is the first EP to be launched under this moniker, and was released through US label Silber Records at the tail end of 2015.

The most striking thing about this EP, rather literally speaking, are the drums. Present in the grater majority of the sixteen and a half minutes of playtime on this one track EP, loud drums are the dominant element and the striking core of this creation. Loud and militant that is, with references to military marching bands in style but alas not in variation. A six part rhythm is circulation with few or no variations throughout, in a manner that will be most divisive. Those who love and treasure this particular drum sound will cherish this creation due to this, those who do not or those that feel the need for the variation employed by the best military marching bands will find this one to be too repetitive and lacking in engagement.

There is one more element presence. Fluctuating soft but rich keyboard surges, with an additional layers of voice like effects added in. Initially a strict light toned overlay, but in the final stages also with darker textures being employed there as well. This ambient aspect of the composition is by far the most rewarding one to my ears, but throughout most of the 16 minutes of playtime they are overpowered by the drum patterns. Did I mention that the drums were loud?

This is very much a wholehearted creation, the result of a creator exploring a specific vision as to what is to be produced, and how this vision should be pursued and executed probably has been crystal clear from the onset. There’s no wavering here, although we do get moments were certain details are pulled away before returning, brief moments of change before the full force blunt drama and possibly even trauma returns.

Those who share the vision of the creator here will be in for a joyride of epic and striking proportions. Those who do not will have a hard time getting through this creation. A strikingly divisive piece of music this one, but if you love your military marching band drums and you have the opinion that they just cannot be too loud, this is an EP you should track down at some point.


My rating: 40/100

Track list:
Christus Vincit

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