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On disc: UltiMatium

- Hwainoo - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars


(Mastervox - 2008)

With UltiMatium another Finnish band is releasing an album these days - its called Hwainoo. The band was started by keyboarder Matti Pulkkinen back in 2001. First as a project, but later became a band and between 2001 and 2003 they released 3 demos. Their debut New Dawn was released in 2004 and now 4 years later they present the follow-up.
The five Finns kick off with Fight The Time and present a quite typical melodic power metal tune, but Tomi Viiltola's vocals make the difference - at least partly - when his vocals are deeper and a bit rougher then usual. Unfortunately for the refrain he choose some high-pitched vocals and so the similarities to Stratovarius and Sonata Arctica are there. At the following Dreamlife the keyboards of Matti Pulkkinen take over the lead. A symphonic melodic metal tune, luckily this song is more mid-paced and so Tomi Viiltola can express more feelings. They push down the accelerator again for Set The Sails - and it becomes again a quite typical fast melodic metal tune. Slowly starts Storms and shows again that they can express more when they slow down. And again it's more intense when Mr. Viiltola don't use high-pitched vocals. Btw, great lead guitar part by Harri Niskanen. Check out Descent, too. I think songs like Storms and Descent are the strong point of UltiMatium, but it's probably just a matter of taste... From the faster ones On The Edge sticks out, coz it adds some new elements! It starts quite symphonic, but then a growl shows this one is different. The vocals have an aggressive edge and later in the song they use growls again. The rougher vocals built the counterpart to the sweet keyboard lines. Unfortunately Tomi returns to the high-pitched parts. But well... The last tune Whispers (Of The World) is an almost 9 min. long track - and I miss a bit the variety to keep it interesting. More exactly the different parts are too long, if they would shorten this one, it could be a killer tune.
Well, I'm a bit bored by the speed melodic metal tunes - not just in this case, in general -, but I think that the more mid-paced tunes are cool and I would hope that UltiMatium would do more of them. But fans of Stratovarius, Sonata Arctica and co. will dig it.

7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


           2008-2010 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail:

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