Album Reviews

Metal Inquisitor – Ultima Ratio Regis Review

metalinquisitor_cover

Released by: Massacre Records

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Genre: Heavy Metal

Links: http://www.metalinquisitor.de

 

Line Up:

Blumi – Lead Guitar

T.P. – Guitar

El Rojo – Vocals

Havoc – Drums

Cliff Bubenheim – Bass

 

Tracklist:

1. Confession Saves Blood

2. Burn Them All

3. Call The Banners

4. Black Desert Demon

5. Bounded Surface

6. Death On Demand

7. Self-Denial

8. Servant Of State

9. The Pale Messengers

10. Second Peace Of Thorn

 

Firstly…Just take a good look at that album artwork. Brilliant! Knights, Battle-Axes, flaming castles, it doesn’t get much more metal than that folks. Hell, these guys even have the word “METAL” in their band name!

In case you hadn’t guessed yet, or haven’t heard of these guys before, METAL INQUISITOR play a very traditionally based incarnation of Heavy Metal that takes it’s cues from early day greats like Judus Priest, Iron Maiden, Accept and Dio. These guys released their debut album back in 2002, and this year sees the releases of their fourth studio effort ULTIMA RATIO REGIS, which roughly translates to “The king’s final argument”, a term connected to warfare in the 1800’s which was also discovered on old Prussian cannons from the era…Once again, very metal!

It’s a very riff-orientated album, with aeach song featuing a very catchy riff or two at least, and while the twin guitar attack of the NWOBHM style mixes well with the early German power metal style there is also another element to the guitar playing that deserves mention. In what may seem an unconventional direct influence for this style of music, the rhythm guitar work here sends plenty of nods across to the Malcolm Young (AC/DC) school of playing where clearly audible major chords are chosen in places where most bands in the genre would just simply place chugging power chords. It’s a great addition that really works and the best example of this might be the beginning five seconds or so of CALL THE BANNERS, which is sort of what the Young brothers might sound like if they used a heavier distortion in their arsenal.

There’s one element of this album that may well be the make or break reason that people decide on a purchase or not, and that is the unique vocal style of front-man El Rojo. After a few listens of this album, his nasally, high-pitched, and strongly accented vocal style feels more and more like it belongs, and is part of the charm of the album. But many listeners may find the firt assault a little jarring. Rojo’s vocal style won’t be for everyone, that’s for sure.

Traditional Heavy Metal purists will find plenty to like about ULTIMA RATIO REGIS. The overall sound and production of the album feels a little thin on occasion, but it does add something to the authenticity of the older sound. The riffs are many, and apart from a handful of generic rhythm riffs, the guitar work as a whole is top-notch. METAL INQUISITOR’S  fourth album is their most complete and relevant work yet and definitely deserves a fair go.

 

Written by Zeezee

Ratings    Zeezee    8/10

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