Line-up: Luděk Struhař - vocal, Filip Koluš - guitar, Ado Kaláber - guitar, Robert Jarský - drums, Ronnie König - bass, Ján Tupý - keyboards
I thought that I haven´t heard a really high-quality classic heavy metal album for a long time. Fairly as if exclaimed, Metalzone received a brand-new album of Czech-Slovak formation Vindex, named "Ultima Thule". Already after reading the information brochure something was telling me that this could be just that thing which would satisfy my suffering heavy-metal taste buds.
The information about mastering held my interest first of all in the brochure. The mastering, which was undertaken by Greg Reely (cooperation with Machine Head, Fear Factory, Impellitteri), which for sure shows evidence of the fact that Vindex definitely did not want to leave anything to chance. After the first hearing it is obvious that Greg´s engagement certainly paid-off. As for sound, the album is blossoming in the literal sense. The audience having refined hearing will purr by satisfaction. And what about the music? It could be said that it doesn´t fall short of the sound quality All the band members are quite mature musicians, but most of all you will apparently admire the guitarist Filip. Already after the introductory song "Forever Metalized" you can enjoy the excellent solo, in which his quitar really malmsteenly sings and at the same time hoffmanously moans. You will enjoy moments like this on the length of the album really a lot. Also, in more classic riffs he always tries to add some extras, and the second guitarist Ado gives him a huge support in this. I was also gripped by singer Luděk whose voice-colour and phrasing in some vocal parts evokes Udo Dirkschneider. This is no wonder, because Luděk simultaneously bedevils his vocal chord also in Accept Revival. On the other hand it is good that he did not immitate Udo´s style at all In this case it would happen, that Vindex would seem as an Accept clone.
While analysing separate songs I am conscious of the fact, that certain heritage of this German heavy metal band can be seen here. Above all the refrains in songs "Forever Metalized" and "Denim & Leather" are much influenced by atmosphere of Accept in 80´s, which I for sure would not see as beauty defect. These refrains definitely have their strength and attraction. Songs "Far Down Under The Ground" reminded me of 1980´s for change with band Running Wild. But when I draw up the album as complex, the comparing with band Rage is evident thanks to sound and occasional trips to land of power metal. Maybe Vindex like Rage a bit more. On the last album "No Middle Ground" Viktor Smolski appeared as guest. And this time it was for a change Manni Schmidt, who also has his experience with Rage. His guitar skills are shown in composition named „Reptilization", which is a little bit mix of Rage a Grave Digger, where he was appealed also for years.
It is said, the best comes at the end. The imaginary peak of the whole album from my view is the last track "Once Given Up For Lost". Beautifully pedalling song, charged with all quality attributes of the band. Thus again perfect singing, splendid guitar achievement and magnificent refrain. If I reminded the resemblance with above mentioned bands, I should specify this a little more. In case of Vindex it is not total stealing, but let´s say induction of atmosphere of the epoch when heavy metal was in the ascension. Perhaps the only fault step is the introduction of the title composure „Ultima Thule", in which the influence of band Manowar and their song "Warriors Of The World" is a little much noticeable. Otherwise there are no other errors to comment upon on this album. I was just in humour exactly for album like this and gentlemen from Vindex dished it to me as it were on golden tray.