ultimatum - puppet of destruciton
ULTIMATUM
Puppet Of Destruction
Rowe Productions
1998

I got my copy of Ultimatum’s second studio release used at a Christian record shop that didn’t even stock new copies of this disc, back in 1998. Meaning, someone bought their copy someplace else (probably mail order; this was Omaha, NE we’re talking about), decided they didn’t like it, and then pawned it off at that now-defunct shop. Probably for something more “church friendly”. Like the Supertones or something. Okay, that’s mere speculation on my part. Why any self-respecting metalhead would want to part with an Ultimatum album is beyond me. Point is, their castoff was my drooling metal fanboy find. I was finally able to hear Ultimatum after years of just hearing about them from the Christian metal underground. I was twitching with anticipation.

For the most part, when I popped the disc in and pressed “play”, I wasn’t disappointed. From the opening track “Never”, to the closing “Charged / Power”, Puppet Of Destruction is a solid slab of no-holds-barred METAL, the heaviest of the heavy, blistering and insane. These guys knew what the metal should taste like, and carried this torch high. The music is raw, the guitars shred, the vocals rip, the rhythms pound, the lyrics straight-forwardly Christian and brutal; what’s not to love? Well…

…there’s a minor quibble I have with the low-end on the production. Meaning, there’s very little of it. It lacks the punch to really send this thing over the edge. From what I understand, that was an error on Rowe Productions’ part and not the band. Which means, once the ownership rights expire, Retroactive Records could (maybe, hopefully) do a touch-up on that. Until then, with some creative tweaking of the equalizers, Puppet Of Destruction still sits high on my frequent spin list…

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