Sunday, August 16, 2009


The latest offering from Ultimatum is a collection of heavy duty compositions entitled ‘Lex Metalis’ latin for “Metal is the Law.” These metal merchants from New Mexico have given us an insight into their musical past as this disc is a ‘covers’ album. 13 songs that have inspired and motivated them to play the type of music that they do. In the extensive liner notes vocalist Scott Waters explained how difficult it was to condense the huge list of possible selections for this recording. (If you want to know how difficult you’ll have to buy the CD!). One thing I will point out and Scott points out as well, they didn’t want to cover the typical songs most bands will cover. I applaud them for this choice.

Opening with the high octane thrash of Metal Church’s ‘Ton of Bricks’ and closing with Overkill’s ‘Powersurge’ this album is simply fabulous. A huge smorgasbord of metal influences from several different era’s of metal are represented. The New Wave of British Heavy Metal comes in with songs from Motorhead ‘Iron Fist’, Iron Maiden ‘Wrathchild’, Saxon ‘Denim and Leather’. I’d heard the Maiden cover on their previous disc ‘Into the Pit’ and thought it was great so when I heard the cover of ‘Denim and Leather’ I was doing cartwheels in my front yard. Simply a ripping version of that song…!‘Iron Fist’ by the ‘Head is another recognizable but not often covered song. This high energy early punk/thrash style tune that Robert Gutierrez’s guitar tone just spearheads the way. “The devils grip THE IRON FIST”!

Judas Priest is given their due with a powerful tune from their British Steel album, ‘Steeler’ is a highly underated and neglected song from their catalog, Waters vocals power the assault with the rythym section of Rob Whitlock on bass and Alan Tuma on drums barraling along for support. Songs by Megadeth “Moto Pyscho”, Twisted Sister “Sin After Sin” are reproduced in excellent fashion.

Hearing versions of several Christian Metal classics always peak my interest as often times I bought the originals when they first came out. In this case Vengeance Rising’s ‘Can’t Get Out’ really shreds and as does Robert on lead guitar! The lyrics to this song are hilarious and when Scott belts it out his annunciation is really rather good, as opposed to Roger Martinez whom if you didn’t have the lyric sheet you were completely lost. (I loved and still do the first two Vengeance albums). Songs by The Moshketeers ‘Locked In Chains’ (whom I’d not heard before) and Mortification ‘Gut Wrench’ are done with passion and intensity.

For me the highlights on this disc are Metallica’s ‘Creeping Death’ a vastly underated and often forgotten song in their catalog. I loved that song when Ride The Lighting came out in 1984, even bought the 12” picture disc with the songs from Diamond Head and Blitzkrieg on the backside. One of the best thrash songs ever and Ultimatum NAILS IT!!!!! Unmistakable energy and power, a pure piece of metal excellence. The second highlight comes from one of heavy metal’s true anthems Quiet Riot’s ‘Metal Health’. That was the first song by Quiet Riot I’d ever heard back in ‘83 and I had to buy that album immediately. That was way before their cover of Slade’s ‘Cum On Feel The Noize’ hit. To me ‘Metal Health’ is right there with ‘Balls to Wall’ as an anthem that every headbanger knows even if they don’t own the albums, they know those songs…. Amazing.

An album like this should accomplish several things, First it should make you want to listen to it again as the band hopefully have put their own stamp on the song. Second if you’re already familiar with some of the songs it should knock you up the backside and you think “That Was a GREAT song!” and you go and pull out the original version. Thirdly if you’re not familiar with a certain artist/song hopefully the version does justice and you think to yourself “How did I miss that?!?!”

The production is solid and clean. A very nice gem case for packaging with a cool 8 page booklet.
Buy this and turn it up because all men play on ten. Cheers!

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Doug Peterson said...


Nice review! I liked this album as well. Especially liked the song selection--a killer Metal Church song! Peace bro.


ultmetal said...

Thanks. Glad you are liking this CD. Appreciate the review. We are very proud of how this CD came out. We really worked hard to make this CD sound like it was written by us, despite being all cover songs.