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Superior - Ultima Ratio CD (album) cover



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4 stars A really good concept piece of the german prog-metal band superior. I think a good addition to any collection but not a masterpiece. I thought it first but my mind changed.

As I already mentioned this is a concept piece, so what is the story behind. The story is well structured but it's not really original. You have this guy who is unhappy with his life and then he has an idea and with a friend he assumed power and called for Revolution. So he founded something like an enormous sect but that's quite irreal because his aim ist to erase feelings etc. (sounds like Euilibrium xD - but the movie came later...). So why should so many people join him? Would you give up your feelings, I doubt. Then there is his love but he has to split because the power is more importnat and listen yourself what happens at the end!

The music is really much influenced by Dream Theater but not as long and complex. It's more like Queensryche's "Operation : Mindcrime" but this time more complex but you can easily hear the parallels. So there's a lack in originality in the story as well in the music but the music is not bad, there are nice melodies, special parts to impel the story and a lot of changes in mood. You have heavy passages with nice 2 guitar riffing, piano passages, melancholic and sorrowfull arpeggio passages and this really amazing duet "FALLEN" with the usual singer who represents the guy who founded this group (Ultima Ratio) and his love, where they decide to split up. So it's a sad and quite atmospheric song first just with piano then in the chorus combined with strings and later a guitar solo and a soft guitar. But another thing I have to criticise is the fact of the length. Some songs like "ULTRA" are just too long and could be shorter cause they repeat the themes too often.

Highlights are "Reflections", "Reach for Reign", "The Unwanted", "Fallen" and "Terror Fantasy".

So a nice varied album with lots of changes in mood an interesting (although it's unlogic) story and a nice connection between lyrics, music and vocals but as I said not really self- contained.

Report this review (#53972)
Posted Sunday, October 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Superior is very influenced by Dream Theater, and this still applies here. Like on the Behind album, the rhythmic guitar riffs are still powerful, thundering, razor and aggressive, but the guitar sound is slightly less clean. Also, the overall sound is less bombastic than on Behind. There are still excellent lush acoustic guitar parts. The piano is found on many tracks, and it seems more elaborated and adventurous than on Behind. The comparison with the Queensryche's "Operation: Mindcrime" album is correct; however, Ultima Ratio is much more powerful and more atmospheric. It seems there are more electric guitar solos than on Behind, but they are not the main attraction, although the ones on "Fallen" are very good. The lead vocals are OUTSTANDING, probably even better than James Labrie. There is often an alternance of mellow and heavy parts. Nothing is spectacular regarding the global technical performance: Dream theater did much better regarding that. Globally, I prefer Behind to Ultima Ratio, because the guitar sound is superior and the atmosphere is more bewitching and bombastic. On the other hand, Ultima Ration is better than "Operation: Mindcrime". Is the very end of the album a wink to Roger Waters' "Amused to death"?
Report this review (#94380)
Posted Thursday, October 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars From the beginning I must say thet this album is the German answer to a historical album called OPERATION MINDCRIME of an unknown band called QUEENSRYCHE!!!!Yes,and this is a compliment,because SUPERIOR made an album that can be considered a true masterpiece from all the points of view!Unfortunatelly this so very talented and inspired band doesn't exist anymore,that's so sad,because they were sooo good!This album had the bad luck to be promoted and produced by a weak French abel-the infamous NTS-WAGRAM,which were too poor and uncompetent and weak to offer this talented band the right to be more popular and better distributed!ULTIMA RATIO is a concept album with a very intelligent story- the mind manipulation and the fascination of power which creates monsters,somke kind of dictators which have the power and ability to maniipulate caracters,minds,spirits,masses!Very fine compositions and sensational playing!Especially te voice of MICHAEL TANGERMANN ,excepting a little German accent,is simply outstanding!Very powerful,clear and rich in emotions!I really adore the way how the guitars sound on this album,so powerful and clear,and here we must congratulate the band for a brilliant production!We can compare SUPERIOR with VANDEN PLAS,POWERTY'S NO CRIME and other German prog metal bands.,but with a more conceptual touch and a beter musical identity on this album especially.The presence of 2 guitars and some very intense keys parts make the whole sound of SUPERIOR really full and compact!Great and,unfortunatelly,underrated album,even all the people which are making a first audition are shocked in a positive way that such a brilliant album is relativelly unknown!Definitelly,there isn't any justice sometimes and I undersand the dissapointment of the band members ,fact that have pushed the guys to end the adventure after a LIVE album,some sort of musical legacy of a very,very good band! The first 2 SUPERIOR albums are marvelous too! 5 STARS with sinceres compliments and a sincere regret that SUPERIOR simply were unlucky!
Report this review (#256904)
Posted Saturday, December 19, 2009 | Review Permalink

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