Picture of Ultimatum

The Mechanics Of Perilous Times

Ultimatum - The Mechanics Of Perilous Times ©2001 Gutter Records
1. Temple Of The Spirit
2. Greed Regime Inc.
3. Perilous Times
4. Shroud Of Science
5. The Purging
6. Crash Course
7. Warlord's Sword
8. The Purging Burn
9. MutalMitlu
10. Violence & Bloodshed

So you're sitting around with your cheap beer swilling, blue jeans wearing, black leather jacket toting fellow thrash metal fans and one of your buddies says, "Gee, wouldn't it be great if those nephews of Donald Duck started an Exodus cover band?" And you, being the lexicon of musical knowledge that you are, say, "Why, there already is a band like that and they're called Ultimatum!" Your friends, so very impressed with your wealth of facts, will hand over yet another beer for your sagelike consumption.

Okay, so maybe the scene wouldn't happen quite like that. For instance, you're probably a Jack Daniels fan. But Ultimatum, a thrash band from New Mexico, does actually exist and they have this singer who sounds like a mix between Exodus' Steve Souza, Udo and a duck. In all my years of listening to thrash metal, I've never quite heard a singer sound like this. It truly is one of the most bizarre voices out there and unfortunately for the band, it's the kind of voice that'll make normally stout and stoic metalheads giggle like schoolgirls. The band themselves are a good take on old school Bay Area thrash and do it quite fluidly and competently, without sounding like a tired knockoff imitiation that so many retro-thrash bands become. The other point of contention many will have with this band is their ultra-hardcore Christian stance. I can already picture scholarly metal fans taking Ultimatum to task for their lyrics in "Shroud of Science", which declares "Cold facts distorting the truth/Fossil records don't hold up/Darwin's theory is a farce".

For those whom lyrical content is not a turning point for appreciating a band, most of the vocals are delivered in a way that the lyrics are buried anyhow. The band ultimately pulls off their thrash metal approach fairly well, but between the vocals and the lyrics, many may choose to overlook this band. If those two issues don't bother you and you fancy yourself a fan of old school thrash and 80s speed metal, Ultimatum is worth checking out.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 08/2001

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