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Ultima Grace: Ultima Grace
Ultima Grace 2022 Debut Album Art

Ultima Grace: Ultima Grace

Symphonic/Melodic/Power Metal
4.0/5.0

Hailing from Japan, Ultima Grace was created by Japanese keyboard wizard Yuhki (Galneryus, Alhambra). Yuhki is assisted by fellow Japanese musicians, notably from Alhambra. But the band takes on an international aspect with Anette Olzon. You read that right, Ms Olzon from Dark Element and former Nightwish fame. The album was released in the Land Of The Rising Sun last march, but Frontiers Music is giving it an international push with it's release this month.

Ultima Grace Click For Larger Image

Ultima Grace

Your first thought when hearing that a band was created by a keyboard player is that you would find those keyboards as the focus of the arrangements. You may be correct, to a point. I was surprised and pleased that Yuhki allows for the more common elements of traditional power metal be equal partners with his synths.

The guitar parts, riffs and solos, are abundant. The rhythm section never fails to give each song groove and gallop. And, despite being mildly subdued by the mix, Ms Olzon finds herself in a familiar element (sans operatic orchestral nature of her Nightwish gig). Nevertheless, Yuhki's keyboards abound in frequent solos, solos that could be easily confused with guitar solos. Also, he can give his synths some church or cathedral like tones, notably within Powers Of North And East. However, and fundamentally, Yuhki and friends are not reinventing the power metal wheel. Nope. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

One thing that is characteristic of the Japanese take on power metal is this: they have no qualms about being fast, heavy, and bombastic as possible. If Ultima Grace and some European power metal band would have a MMA-like throw down, I think Ultima Grace kick European ass. Other monumentally outrageous power metal songs include The Lost, Beguile The Night, and Getting On With Life.

Ultimately (pun intended), if you dig grandiose and bombastic power metal, you will need to add Ultima Grace's debut album to your routine listening rotation. Recommended.



CraigHartranft.net - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

The Take Away

Ultimately (pun intended), if you dig grandiose and bombastic power metal, you will need to add Ultima Grace's debut album to your routine listening rotation. Recommended.

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