|Review: Ultimatium - Virtuality|
Label: Rockshots Records
Year released: 2020
Genre: Progressive Power Metal
Review online: June 22, 2021
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Rated 3.6/5 (72%) (5 Votes)
Virtuality is the fourth full-length album from Finland's Ultimatium. After reading reviews of their prior albums here at The Metal Crypt, I can report that they still sound like countrymen Stratovarius, on the faster numbers anyway. That only describes a portion of this album, however, because there is a lot of music here. Ultimatium have crafted a sort of Ready Player One/War Games theme running through the album's lyrics (helped along by some inter-song narration) and mixed quite a lot of progressiveness into the songwriting. They employ multiple guest singers to flesh out the different characters, including some operatic and harsh vocals. It is a dense, multilayered affair that I find overly long and some of the lengthier tracks like "Mindcaptives" meander too much for my taste. If you are going to write a long album with long songs, they need to be packed with hooks and I'm not hearing enough of them on Virtuality. I also feel the songwriting is a tad formulaic, with influences from Stratovarius and Pagan's Mind rather plain. There's nothing wrong with the album, the playing is fine, the sound is excellent, and the story is one that has been told before and there are plenty of variations on the theme to keep things interesting, but I don't hear enough to keep this 71-minute album engaging all the way through. I would imagine if bands such as Pagan's Mind, Anubis Gate, Lanfear, etc. are in your go-to playlist, you might find this one to your liking.
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