At a time when a lot on new Thrash Metal bands are shooting for the “Bonded By Blood” era of Thrash, ULTIMATUM does something a little different. They shoot for the later era of Thrash when many of the bands went with a lot groovier material and lost a lot of the chaotic nature of Thrash. And surprisingly the band succeeds at it. Many Thrash fans may hoo-hah over this but the fact of the matter is this: ULTIMATUM plays groove inspired Thrash Metal on “Into The Pit” and they play it well.
Now it’s not surprising that this is the form of Metal they choose to play. The band has been around for a while. 1992 is what my records show and that was the time when this groove Thrash was big. The interesting part about this is that the band continues to play it even on their fourth full length album 15 years later. That’s dedication my friends.
So when going into “Into The Pit” go in expecting some PANTERA flavored chugging riffs with some technical leads and solos that break up the rhythms. Expect some heavy bass work (which is not only prominent but quite impressive and varied) along with some wide ranging drum tempos. This band has some killer rhythms though and right away from the opening riff of “One For All” to the end of “Game Over” there are going to be catchy chunk riffs and some very technical solos. Both guitarists succeed at pulling off the chugging riffs and the solos as they smoothly trade between the two. Those 15 years have paid off for the band.
What really makes ULTIMATUM push further back towards the Thrash realm and away from the Post Thrash realm is the vocalist. Scott Waters uses a better Thrash tone of harsh, raspy vocals than most modern Thrash bands and he refuses to step towards that barking style that has become the main choice. It’s a great sound he has and it really adds that extra edge the album that I was looking for.
It’s not often that you come across a new album that continues a style that was condemned by many, but ULTIMATUM not only pulls it off with professionalism but they throw their hearts into it. You can tell just by the pureness of their music and the earnest of their song writing. They aren’t here for the money or the fame – they are here for Metal and they aren’t going anywhere any time soon. Even if it takes another 7 years to release a full length album, I know I’ll be awaiting the next release.
Songs to check out: “One For All”, “Deathwish”, “Blind Faith”.
(Online March 3, 2008)