Friday, January 22, 2010


Every musical artist has to start somewhere. That is they have to define who they are musically. Sometimes it’s immediately known (Iron Maiden for example) and they stick with that style for entire career. For others it may take an album or two (AC/DC worked it out with their 1974 Australian release High Voltage. The next release T.N.T. defined the sound we all know and love. If you don’t believe me listen to the two of them back to back.) To come to a place of comfort. I think that is what we have in the first album by Ultimatum entitled ‘Symphonic Extremities.’ This album was originally released in 1996 and then remastered and re-released in 2007.

This debut album is much more heavy metal as opposed to the blistering power/thrash metal the band is producing now. In many ways ‘Symphonic Extremities’ is a development from their ‘Fatal Delay’ demo. Both albums are more in the traditional heavy metal vibe. Now that doesn’t mean the material stinks or anything like that, but it’s a far cry from ‘Into the Pit’ or ‘The Mechanics of Perilous Times.’ Yes the production is more demo like, as this album is actually a combination of two demos.

There are even some diamonds in this musical rough, ‘Blink,’ ‘World of Sin,’ and the title track. These tracks have stood the test of time and they should, the material is crafted well and just has it. The other songs however are more forgettable than memorable, except perhaps for the tune ‘Darkest Void’ which has a catchy if cheesy chorus line with echoing reverb on the word ‘Void.’

The performances are pretty good as well. Perhaps one of the main differences listeners will notice immediately is that vocalist Scott Waters uses a clean voice most of the time and actually sings the songs instead of his trademark wail. I believe its all part of that ‘finding your musical footing.’

I’m glad Ultimatum did find that footing and have continued on till today. I’m sure every fan is as well. This album isn’t one for the first timer, for that I would recommend ‘Into The Pit’ or ‘The Mechanics of Perilous Times’ but if you are an Ultimatum die hard you’ll want it to complete your collection.

I’m sure the band is proud of this work even though it hasn’t weathered time as well as their other releases. For diehards only…

6 axes

No comments: