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Average at best, definitely nothing special - 72%

Metalwontdie, June 29th, 2009

Symphonic Extremities is Ultimatum’s debute and while it is not a bad release it certainly has a lot of weaknesses. Ultimatum is a Christian thrash metal band with a strong groove metal influence. While not having a very original sound, Ultimatum certainly has there own sound. Symphonic Extremities sound itself is more in the groove metal style, with leanings on faster thrashers like the title track, E.N.D and Blink. Most of the songs are mid-tempo groove songs, sometimes speeding up for the more thrashy parts. Most songs are over four minutes with three extended songs that are over six minutes each.

The band’s performance is solid but you can see that they need to practice more, and need more experience. The production isn’t bad, but murky and sounds more like a glorified demo (Even on the remastered version). Scott Waters’s vocals fit the album well and he sounds a lot like a more annoying Steve Souza from Exodus albeit using some death metal growls occasionally. The drumming is average just providing rhythm and so are the two guitarists who only occasionally show some above average skill. Since Symphonic Extremities has much more of a groove metal sound to it the bass is more audible and it just complements the guitars. The songs themselves are mainly average, filler is present, and the song lengths could have been shortened for greater effect. Finally the song Ode To Noise is pointless it just has some held down guitar notes repeated with some dude growling words in the background for nearly two minutes.

Symphonic Extremities while not an abomination, is certainly not an excellent debut in any since and could have used much more attention to the songwriting and riff work. The best songs are the title track, E.N.D., Megaton, and Blink. I plan on buying Ultimatum Puppet of Destruction just to hear if Ultimatum improves after this release. I recommend this album to big fans of groove metal, and Exodus fans that like Steve Souza.

-10 points songs are average and nothing special
-5 points songs are to long, could have benefited from shorter lengths
-5 points Scott Water’s voice is annoying on some of the songs
-8 points Ode To Noise is a pointless waste of a song