ULTIMATIUM is yet another keyboard-heavy Power Metal band from Finland, so not exactly anything overly original. “Hold Your Ground” has more in common with the early works of CELESTY and DREAMTALE, than the country’s more popular exports of STRATOVARIUS and SONOTA ARCTICA, with a less streamlined sound. Despite that, ULTIMATIUM ultimately (pun intended) play rather generic Power Metal, which nonetheless remains enjoyable.
Album opener, “C’est La Vie”, is a moderately-paced track with a catchy chorus, exhibiting all of the genre’s trademarks. “Curtain Of Darkness” is the EP’s strongest track, with a ballad-esque beginning leading into a speedy romp and rousing refrain. The title track brings to mind mid-period EDGUY, while “Shine On” bring the EP to a close with its mid-paced stomp and moody leads.
ULTIMATIUM know their way around a solid Power Metal tune, and are all talented musicians. “Hold Your Ground” doesn’t explore any new territory (or break any new ground, as it were), and will have no appeal to the non-Power Metal fan, but for those who enjoy the Finnish sound, this a band to watch.
(Online May 8, 2011)