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Metal Inquisitor - Ultima Ratio Regis

Metal Inquisitor
Ultima Ratio Regis
by Michael "MettleAngel" Francisco at 20 March 2014, 5:57 PM

Follow the Teutonic titans – METAL INQUISITOR – the ultimate reigning kings of Deutschland who take revenge with unconditional resolve, absolutely (well almost) delivering the goods with their fourth full-length. These bad boys of hard rock know how to please by playing in that classic NWOBHM style. Resistance to their sound is futile, lest you be restricted by the agony of enjoying modern Metal. Tell me again how CARNIFEX made it into Billboard Top Charts, but not EXMORTUS or HATRIOT.

Like their counterparts in Japan, METALUCIFER or those terrific Tribute Lords ROXXCALIBUR who sure know how to pay homage to the past, these bounded by blood servants of the state of euphoria sure can hurt your ears. I absolutely adore their first two offerings, even if they did steal heavily from WITCHFYNDE, DIAMOND HEAD, PRIEST, WHIPLASH, OVER KILL, PREDATOR, SATAN, SWEET SAVAGE, etc. Unfortunately, I felt that “Unconditional Absolution” had its moments, but ultimately it was just not up to par, even if did honor RIOT, METAL CHURCH, NASTY SAVAGE, and SANCTUARY with some cool cuts like “Extinction”, “Quest For Vengeance”, “Satan's Host”, and “Persuader”.

Lucklessly, they have fallen into the same pattern here. All the songs are strong, vibrant compositions, but they just do not carry the power and pulse of earlier classics like “Resistance Is Futile”, “Restricted Agony”, “M4-A1”, “Zombie Driver”, etc. The production is too rough, too. Maybe it is meant to sound better on vinyl, for which limited color pressing will be made available through Nuclear Blast mail order.

The album commences with the heart pumping “Confession Saves Blood”, which is quite similar to “Doomsday For The Heretic”, and it concludes with the epic “Second Peace Of Thorn”. I am not even sure what the hell that title even means! The rival rebel, and revel of “Call The Banners” has a hint of MANOWAR and MAJESTY, and perhaps CROM for whom the arch villain Blumi has performed in a live atmosphere. “Bounded Surface” has a tinge of GRAVESTONE and early GRAVE DIGGER to it, while the death strike damage incorporated by “Death On Demand” is windswept by the black sails of RUNNING WILD's “Branded And Exiled” pageantry.

There is no doubt that the siren's call of “Burn Them All” (hmnn, that sounds familiar) and “Self-Denial” clearly cull from “Kill 'Em All”; especially “Metal Militia”, and “No Remorse”, which themselves are lifted from TANK, VARDIS, BLEAKHOUSE, GHENGIS KHAN, BLOOD MONEY, TYGERS OF PAN TANG, etc. Am I the only one who has still not heard the new METALLICA song! Damn computer! Whereas the evocative “Servant Of State” has an altogether different tone, as the band allows themselves to get down with their '70s influences such as B.O.C., APRIL WINE, AXE, etc. IRON SAVIOR, OXYM, and the Metal Gods would be amiss not to hear “The Pale Messengers” a class menagerie and reworking of hits off “Stained Class”.

The duke of diligence and divergence - El Rojo has a rousing standout cadence and high pitch rendering. In the band's quest for vengeance, this forceful howl is a stigmatic demarcation and delineation. Like the bleating tone of Thomas "Thomse" Schwarz from PETTYPEWEl Rojo's voice is easily recognized similar to '80s era Bobby “Blitz”. Perhaps the addition of Cliff from MIDNIGHT RIDER has permitted the band to expound their sound to become more destined for distinction; but beware because not all the musical compositions are as infectious or as persuasive as previously.

I will always support the Heavy Metal underground and dedicated acts who revere their mettle heritage, but perhaps artists like MASTERS OF DISGUISE, HELLHOUND, SATANICA, LORDS OF THE TRIDENT, NIGHT DEMON, and even the latest offering from WHITE WIZZARD maintain the discerning edge that allows them to be a notch over the top. Here is hoping that METAL INQUISITOR can reconquer that vigilance.

3 Star Rating

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
Robert "El Rojo" Zerwas – Vocals
Jochen "Blumi" Blumenthal – Guitars
T.P. – Guitars
Cliff Bubenheim – Bass
Havoc – Drums
Record Label: Massacre Records


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