Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2021
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Metal is the Law! - 85%

kmorg, July 26th, 2009

I've always liked covers albums ever since Metallica's legendary 'Garage Days Re-Revisited (The $5.98 EP)' from 1987. Listening to your favorite bands paying homage to their favorite bands is always cool. If you're lucky, you might even discover some new gems, be it bands or songs, in the process. And when the band adds their own sound to some classic tunes, it's all the better. That is just what Ultimatum have done with their brand new album, entitled 'Lex Metalis'.

The original idea was to release an EP of covers. But as soon as the record company heard about the idea, they showed a total interest in the project, and it was decided to go for a full length CD. The band drew up a list of nearly 50 songs which the individual members wanted to do, as well as songs suggested by the members on the Ultimatum discussion board. They ended up recording 12, and added their version of Iron Maiden's "Wratchild" that also appeared on 'Into The Pit'. The idea for the title also came from one of the long standing members of the Heart of Metal discussion board. It doesn't really mean anything grammatically correct, but loosely translated it can be interpreted as 'The Law of Metal'. And what a fitting title that is! 'Lex Metalis' sees the band ripping through songs from bands that has inspired Ultimatum. Everything from the cover art to the song-by-song liner notes let's you know that these guys are in it for the music, and the message!

They have done a killer job picking songs from big names, such as Metallica, Megadeth and Mötorhead. But I found myself enjoying the lesser known tracks from The Moshketeers, Mortification and Vengeance Rising just as much, or perhaps even more. I also think the band managed to stay clear choosing songs that everyone else have covered before them. A good covers album should have that fine balance between staying true to the original material, but at the same time give the song a different character. On 'Lex Metalis' Ultimatum is doin' just that. Every song is recorded with the utmost respect for the original artists. After all, these guys are devoted fans. But if I didn't know the original tunes, you could probably pass most of these tracks by me as new Ultimatum originals. Scott's vocals are unmistakable, and Robert has his own unique guitar-tone. So with very small tweaks and alterations, all of the songs have been Ultimatumized. My personal favorite here is "Locked In Chains", probably the most obscure track covered, originally recorded by The Moshketeers (the band Ultimatum drummer Alan Tuma used to be in). It holds up solid alongside more knows songs, such as Creeping Death (Metallica), Ton Of Bricks (Metal Church) and Powersurge (Overkill). I also love their take on Megadeth's "Moto Psycho", a song that originally didn't grab me. But the beefed up version from these guys sounds very strong. And their version of Saxon's legendary "Denim And Leather" made me wanna search out the original again. Other favorites includes "Can't Get Out" (Vengeance Rising) and "Gut Wrench (Mortification), another song that Ultimatum has totally reworked into their own.

'Lex Metalis' is yet another quality product from the Ultimatum camp. I'm loving every second of it, and the fun the band must have had while recording it is rubbing off on the listener big time! I'm also glad that this is out of their system, so to speak. Because now they can concentrate on writing new material for another Ultimatum album!