Ultimate Power Corrupts has figured out a metal recipe that even ol' Beelzebub himself would be damn proud of. Legions of bands today are blast beating the interest right out of their music, and the word "breakdown" must have perished with metal master Dimebag Darrell because you sure don't see much of it these days. That's what I thought, anyway. Then I listened to Tensions Escalate, and my faith in the genre was devilishly restored. This 4 song introduction to Pennsylvania thrashers Ultimate Power Corrupts is an intense stride into the battlefield of metal with the difficulty set to brutal while every squad member on your team is a rotting cadaver except for you. Yeah, you're going in alone, soldier. "Bad ass" is what this EP should be titled. Tensions Escalate grabs you by the gronies right from the very beginning and ruthlessly squeezes without any indication that this physical from Hell will ever be over. The drummer often sounds like the world's most impressively functional cocaine addict from the masterful percussion work and insane speeds accomplished throughout the recording. Every tom roll, bass strike, and snare pop are perfectly placed and beautifully timed. Much of Tensions Escalate is reminiscent of early Sepultura, bringing back fond memories of the glory days of Arise and Beneath the Remains. Powerful breakdowns drive some of the most crushing sections of this EP (I'm looking at you "By Any Means Necessary"), and the guitar work is consistently tight. Vocals are in the safe range for thrash metal, meaning they are the heavy constant one would expect from a killer recording like this, but don't tread far off the beaten path. The bass guitar has a twang punch to the balls that really helps keep the rhythm flow with all the surrounding chaos. Ultimate Power Corrupts is a breath of fresh air during these questionable times. It would appear that thrash metal is truly alive and well, and apparently living in Pennsylvania.
Review by Andy Hamlet