Nima : I have always had a good heart for the American thrashers of Ultimatum and seeing that their previous album 'Into The Pit' (2007) was seven years in the making, I was rather pleased to have a new Ultimatum release after two years "already”. Without having read the included infosheet or looking at the track list first, I put the cd in my player and got a very familiar and trusted feeling. "I know this…I'll be damned; this is 'Ton Of Bricks' from Metal Church!” Looking at the track list I quickly find out that we are dealing with an album filled with covers.
Well, I have always had a love/hate thing with cover and tribute albums for several reasons; in most cases the cover versions simply can't top the originals, the tributing bands choose for the most predictable songs that have been covered countless times before and of course the question is whether anybody is prepared to spend money on a product of this kind. After all, we are all in the middle of a crisis and even without that, there are many interesting albums that are still missing in our collections, no?
But anyway, looking at the choice of songs and bands that Ultimatum has made for this album, I must say that I'm kind of happy that they have chosen for less predictable songs (and bands) in general. I use the term "in general” because we have already heard different version of songs like 'Iron Fist' (Motörhead) or 'Wrathchild' (Iron Maiden), but fortunately that's about it. Because hey, one does not easily expect songs such as 'Steeler' (Judas Priest), 'Powersurge' (Overkill), 'Sin After Sin' (Twisted Sister) to get covered… and how about Megadeth's 'Moto Psycho'? Also covering songs from bands like Quiet Riot, Vengeance Rising or Mortification is usually not the first choices. In the booklet of this cd the band members explain their personal choices for the tributed bands and songs because each song has a special meaning to (one of) the band member(s).
The answer to the question whether Ultimatum has managed to top the originals is a simple "no”. Let's be honest; Ultimatum is a limited band, with limited - especially vocal - abilities and that's audible. But these guys have succeeded in making these songs their own and even make non-thrash songs sound thrashy and also stay close to the original.
I can't tell whether this album is worth the purchase or not. Personally I wouldn't spend money on an album consisting only of covers by only one band, and especially a less-known band like Ultimatum. I would have preferred to hear a new album with their own material. But on the other hand - and I quote singer Scott Waters - ultimately cover albums are just plain fun…'.
01. Ton Of Bricks (Metal Church)
02. Locked In Chains (The Moshketeers)
03. Sin After Sin (Twisted Sister)
04. Creeping Death (Metallica)
05. Denim & Leather (Saxon)
06. Gut Wrench (Mortification)
07. Moto Psycho (Megadeth)
08. Metal Health (Quiet Riot)
09. Steeler (Judas Priest)
10. Iron Fist (Motörhead)
11. Can't Get Out (Vengeance Rising)
12. Wrathchild (Iron Maiden)
13. Powersurge (Overkill)