Think of California's Son of Aurelius as a thinking man's deathcore band. If that seems like an oxymoron, consider this: The group named itself after Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius' son, Commodus, and created a crazed new concept album, 'The Furthest Reaches,' which is based in fact but embellished with fiction.

"Everyone knows that Commodus was a psychopath, but we went much further, creating our own story around him and making him a fantastical character," guitarist Cary Gear told Noisecreep. "Within the band's fiction, Commodus is kind of the ultimate evil, striving to gain the power of the gods."

With the success of Starz Network's blood-spattered anthology 'Sparticus: Blood and Sand,' the concept could play well with metal fans looking for a bit of history with their sonic carnage. And for those who could care less about lyrics, 'The Furthest Reaches' offers an eclectic mix of adept musicianship, roller coaster rhythm shifts and sheer aggression.

"We wanted to make an album that had everything that we love about metal," Gear said. "We made a real effort to have plenty of diversity in the songs, because we wanted them all to have their own vibe -- a good mix of brutality, technicality and melody. We're not afraid to have a really brutal tune followed by a catchy chorus-driven song."