Ultima is the second release by polish Goth band Naamah, which were previously known as Melankolia. The band is a sextet which creates lush atmospheres in counterpoint with a heavy, crunching twin axe assault. The vocals of Anna Panasz do take some getting used to. Her pitch is slightly lower than the usual soprano vocals which accompany these types of bands, and her English is heavily accented. She actually sounds her best when covering the tracks sung in Polish. The strength of her surrounding cast more than make up for her slightly inferior vocals.
Guitarists Adam Kaliszewski and Mikolaj Szalkowski are a fearsome one-two punch, as they rip through solos at break-neck speed; accentuated by some splendid violin courtesy of guest musician Marta Frankstein, sparse yet tasty keyboard excursions by Adam Szewczyk, and a solid rhythm combo of Marcin Stasiak on bass and Krzysztof Szalkowski on drums. Ms Frakstein also lends her voice to the cover of Nightwish's "She Is My Sin" where her vocals sail head and shoulders above Ms Panasz'.
With a sound and an approach flirting more with prog-metal than gothic, Naamah have managed to put together a fairly consistent disc. Those of you into bands like Nightwish can't go wrong with this one. If you're looking for more atmosphere, and a sense of futility and impending doom , this band's note-frenetic style may not suit your pallet.