Ultimatium - Hwainoo
Power Metal
8 songs (44.03)
Release year: 2008
Ultimatium, Mastervox
Reviewed by Aleksie
Ultimatium is a Finnish band with a history stretching back to 2001 and several demo tapes. Their debut album came out in 2004 and after line-up changes here and there, they released their second record, Hwainoo, last April.

The album opener Fight The Time lets the listener into the story pretty quickly: frantic riffing, double bass drumming to spare, soaring melodies and widdling guitars. The first song alone combines anthemic keyboards with wooo-oou chanting, tailoring the tune for live audiences. Singer Tomi Viiltola has the ear-piercing wail down to pat, with a hint of both Michael Kiske and King Diamond in his voice. The highest of high notes can get a bit thin and his lower range can still definitely use some work, but he holds the demanding position down well. I guess the slight tinny qualities in his voice can get grating, but I didn’t have any problems.

The song material has all the variety you’d expect and does most sides well. Storms is a heavy ballad that could use a bit more epic “oomph” behind it, maybe with more layered vocals. Dreamlife and Descent hold back the speed just a bit, while not being blatantly mid tempo. Play The Game flirts with proggy elements, changing the tempos here and there. On The Edge throws a little curveball with a more aggressive tone and a dash of harsh vocals in the mix. The band’s playing is tight throughout and when doing their finest, the harmonizing keys and guitars really suck the listener in.

All in all, Hwainoo is a well written and produced piece of power metal, that doesn’t stray that far from Freedom Call and company, but feels very comfortable while doing so. If you’re puritanical about originality, Ultimatium might not be your best choice, but I’d recommend them for anyone looking for some no-nonsense, energetic power metal.

Killing Songs :
Fight The Time, Set The Sails, On The Edge and Play The Game
Aleksie quoted 70 / 100
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There are 3 replies to this review. Last one on Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:03 pm
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