Ultimatum was one of those bands that I had heard pretty good things about, but I'd never heard any of their music. That was until about 2 1/2 years ago when I won their "Puppet of Destruction" CD in a contest. I actually won 20 CD's. Of the 20, I traded about 15 to Blastbeats. Of the 5 I kept, one was "Puppet of Destruction". Now this isn't one of the top 5 of all time by any stretch of the imagination, but it did make the top 5 of those 20 that I won. I like this CD of speed/thrash metal, but I really have to be in the mood for it to listen. The biggest hurdle to get over is the vocals. At first I hated them. They are very annoying to a first time listener. However, after repeated listens I've grown used to them and though they are not awesome, they are decent. The one thing that is more than decent is the music. These guys are very tight and very heavy. They rip it up on this disc of 10 songs. Every song is a headbangers delight. Guitars solos abound along with tons of heavy riffing. The production is very well done. The lyrics are also a bright spot as these guys are very bold with their faith. They seem to get on their soapbox many times regarding issues that they feel strongly about. Issues like trendy music, secular metal, t.v., and pop culture. They also lay out the plan of salvation on the inside of the CD tray. Best songs in my book would include "World of Sin", "Conform to Reality", and "Gutterbox". The cover artwork is also well done, which is always a plus.
Overall, I'm pretty pleased with this CD. The vocals will be the main thing that people complain about, but they are something that can be overcome. It's good to see bands like Ultimatum that make metal that they like regardless if it's flavor of the month. You gotta admire them for that, cause their brand of metal is not on the top of the charts now-a-days, and probably never will be. (Review by Matt)