Brutal, slow-dirge metal that sends a confusing message.

But first, the music.

Ever since hearing Earth 2’s two-piece, extremely slow, yet ultra-heavy dirge metal, I’ve often wondered if someone could come up with a really rocking version of the Melvins do. I think Nightstick is on to something, since they have made all that slow, ugly, yet heavy rock, that has a strange appeal to everyone with even the slightest appreciation of heavy metal. So, bravo, Nightstick!

What is confusing is the lyrical content. An album called Ultimatum should emphasize a survival-of-the-fittest philosophy to be part of the band, which this album might, but somehow all the songs appear to be venomously anti-American. Most of the songs are directed at the Bush Administration and the Gulf War. And they mostly say, “America is the Great Satan.” There’s even a song about WWII, “August 6, 1945: a: Flight b. Fright.” which you’ll have to look up. I was really surprised to see a song called “4 More Years,” which definitely is directed at the current presidency. And that’s particularly puzzling, because the lyrics seem to imply that the Clinton Administration, while certainly big on the “getting some” ticket, is not about hate, contrary to what this song says. They do show some honor, though, in their “War Pigs” for the late 1990s, “Dream of the Witches’ Sabbath/Massacre of Innocence (Air Attack).” If you’re a pinko, go for it. Relapse, P.O. Box 251, Millersville, PA 17751;

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