Track By Tracks: Ultimatium - Virtuality (2024)


Virtuality is a progressive power metal opera, powered by five lead vocalists telling a story of a near-future virtual world/gaming event, where unofficial patches lead to bad times. This album, in its 65 min length, is best served with reading the lyrics as you listen on, so you get the story as well as the music. Digitally you can do that also with our digital release, which of course includes the booklet:

1. Vengeance:

Fast-paced power metal song, with more progging mid-part. For the guitar riff in verse, I tried to capture vibes on Clairvoyant of Iron Maiden, but then I changed only one note from it and the riff turned into “Gates of Babylon”ish and the song was ready. During the composing phase, this song was always the clear opening song for the album, even though at the time we did not know this was going to be the theme album. This song contains the first-ever blast beat of Ultimatium, just for the heck of it.

On the lyrics side, this song paints the scene of the album, introducing the theme and some of the characters, but not going too deeply into the plot.

2. Run like the Wind:

This song went a little wild. During the end phase of composing, I noticed that the album was starting to be pretty dark, so this song was made to lighten things up. It’s quite rare for me to do a song for a certain purpose, but it turned out quite nicely this way also. First there was the intro riff and the rest of the song just “followed”. There’s also C64/SID version of this song, where all instruments are replaced with c64 sid emulator synth.

Lyrics still paint the scene of the album, heroes take a victory in the game but the celebrations start to take a turn for the worse, when the main characters start to notice that something ain’t right in their virtual world.

3. Hall of Heroes:

The third song, the instrumental, is from Virtuality. Represents the breakthrough of the villain into the game's system in the story, progressing the story to the point where the whole thing starts to boil. The bass solo in this song is played with fretless bass.

4. Mindcaptives:

Finally, a song that’s over 10 minutes. Composing this song seemed like it would never end, new ideas just kept popping. The original song got a big coating of prog during recordings when Harri & Matti A kept twisting the song to be more curved. This song is the first of the album to truly utilize the five great lead vocalists and to really notch things up, in terms of prog opera. In the lyrics department, the whole plot is revealed to the listener. Heroes of the album notice that they cannot exit the game at all and their minds are being tampered with. The video coming around mid-February.

5. The Seer:

Mid-tempo song, featuring Emily Leone in vocals. This song has some unusually high guitar riffs. We usually play the riffs from the lower end of the scale, but this time it’s different. Because of that reason, there’s also a Taurus pedal in the background of the verses to add some buff to the song. This was also the opening single of the album.

In the lyrics, Emily Leone’s character is properly introduced not only to the characters in the album but also to the listeners. Although Emily’s character was present in previous songs as well, her background, importance, and special powers are explained in this song.

6. Dark Cold Day:

This song tries to capture the feeling of Dragon’s den, by Symphony X…with a very timotolkki’ish chorus :) Peter James Goodman’s highest note is heard on the chorus. This song introduces the character sung by Peter James Goodman. His character is practically “invisible” to the villain since he has not shared a lot on social media, so the villain does not really know how to fight him. A first epic battle is fought in this song.

7. Remorse:

One of the oldest songs in the album, this was composed somewhere in 2015 or something,

The working title for this song was “pull me above” :) This song has some nice twists and turns and a lot of progressive drumming and a whole lot of cymbal tricks. As the title tells, this song is about having some remorses, related to events of the previous song. Emily’s character is still hanging on but it’s painstakingly obvious she’s mortally injured and incapacitated and they must make a hard decision to leave her behind.

8. (Don’t) Fear the Silence:

Finally, a pure ballad. Not some “evolving into mid-tempo song”, but starts a ballad and ends as one too. Also almost fully acoustic. Emily’s vocalizing of this song is purely amazing, she captured the essence of this song perfectly.

In this song, Emily’s character urges fellows to leave her behind, since her character is totally done for.

9. Digital Tower:

Working title: Prime Cuts. So this song has the best parts of all the other great songs :D When we realized that this album was going to be a multi-vocalist theme album, I only had one name in mind for this song: Jukka Nummi. Definitely one of my favorites on this album, the heaviest song of Ultimatum up to date, with great riffs and massive orchestrations. And the ending of the song, that’s so epic with Jukka’s improvised vocal lines.

In the lyrics, heroes are raging with events of the last songs and tear down the building that the villain is using for data storage, revealing crucial details of his whereabouts.

10. Ghost of Yesterday:

This song is also a bit lighter, compared to the rest of the songs on the album, with nice double kicks and keyboard/guitar joint riffs. Funny fact, this song was originally a mid-part for the MIndcaptives, but it was too good to be buried inside a longer song.

Lyrics shed more light on Peter’s character and explain to the listeners how the villain can affect the characters and cause them physical harm in the virtual world

11. Scream:

A bit more “classical” Ultimatium song, also one of the older compositions. This song is actually two songs merged into one, there were originally 13 songs but this and one other song did not quite work out, but combining them did work. In the middle part, Harri had probably been Hot Rocking in a sauna too much, since the riff was totally priest :D And of course, we overdid it on the final max, adding some flanger to it.

It’s time for the final battle and the end. Tomi Viiltola’s character, the one responsible for all of this, redeems himself and leads the characters to the final battle against the villain. To everyone's surprise, Emily’s character also makes a comeback, this time out of the game in the real world, providing crucial help in the battle.

12. Together:

Also quite a classic song from Ultimatium, as the ending song, is long and epic and with quite a fast tempo. While composing this one, it was clear this must be the final song. Rare appearance of the wah pedal is also heard in guitar solos. And the ending piano riff is probably the best so far ever made by me.

The endgame in the lyrics. A lot of wondering why and how things turned out how they were. Also, the result of the final battle is revealed.

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