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UFC - Ultimate Beatdowns Volume 1  
The Hobo Review

The Ultimate Fighting Championships are a wonderful opportunity for people to experience real life fighting. Forget kick-boxing, Taekwondo, pro-wrestling and Judo - this is the real stuff, where any style, any technique and any fighting strategy can be utilized. 

The UFC is not unlike Pride fighting or other such MMA (mixed martial arts) competitions except that the UFC itself functions under `no-holds-barred' rules. The fight can only be stopped by verbal or physical submission, knockout or referee intervention - if the fighters last the set number of rounds then the decision goes to the referees' scorecards. Non-championship matches have a time limit of three five-minute rounds, whereas championship matches are given an extra two round leeway. 

Regardless, the UFC in the spirit of violence, aggression and empowerment has released a metal compilation album. For what purposes you ask? Shameless commercialism, I guess. 

The album features such aging metal hard-hitters as Hatebreed, Shadows Fall, Sepultura, Slayer, Fear Factory, Killswitch Engage, Chimaira and Damageplan - with a good level of inconsequential acts thrown in for good measure. ‘Icepick, Black Flood Diesel, Scars Of Life, Stemm, UPO’ – has anyone heard of, let alone support these ‘titans’? After skimming the tracks from these unknowns, I decided to do a little research on a band that caught my ear – UPO.

U.P.O. apparently attracted `major label interest' with their demo back in 1997. Three years later they recorded their debut No Pleasantries with Epic, and released their sophomore The Heavy this year. Even though I've never so much as heard their name before, I've been informed they had a top 5 Billboard hit (who the hell runs those things?) and have toured with the likes of Linkin Park, Slipknot, Nickelback and Godsmack. 

Are they anything to get excited over? Hell no. In fact, their contribution to the album has left me clueless as to why they were signed in the first place. Take one part RATM, one part Soundgarden and two parts uninspired alt-rock - and presto, you've got an instant EPIC metal giant! Seriously though, why the hell does their drummer have pigtails? Truly tough stuff. 

Icepick’s little hardcore ditty "Born To Crush You" isn’t a bad little addition to the disc. The Scars Of Life (do not think Scars Of The Crucifix) track "Dying Here" is fairly soft and mundane. Black Flood Diesels Lost Cause is shameful, with soft, unenergetic vocals, boring pseudo-tough lyrics (‘I’ll kill them all’) and the same goddamn guitar riff all the way though. Stem’s "Face The Pain" is nothing more than a catchy nu-metal hit.

Quite frankly I had anticipated a much harder compilation. I mean, when you take the UFC – extreme in the realm of contact sports – and you add metal – how can you go wrong? Well, apparently the UFC did. I’m lost as to why anyone would go out and purchase a disc half full of easily obtainable tracks we’ve all heard before, and half full of talentless, dry trash that does nothing to communicate the anger, power, rage and intensity of the UFC. 

Come on guys, it’s not like there’s a lack of metal out there. Choose some more suitable tracks for Volume 2.

CD Info 

UFC - Ultimate Beatdowns Volume 1  
Label: DRT Entertainment
 UFC Intro (Optimus Bellum Domitor)
Warzone - Slayer
Blunt Force Trauma - Damageplan
Live For This - Hatebreed
Cowards - American Head Charge
Power Of 1 And 1 - Shadows Fall
 Bullet The Blue Sky - Sepultura
Slave Labor - Fear Factory
Born To Crush You - Icepick - (featuring Jamey Jasta/Lord Ezec)
Breath Life - Killswitch
Indifferent To Suffering - Chimaira
Face The Pain - Stemm
 It's Alright - U.P.O.
Listen - Index Case
Lost Cause - Black Flood Diesel
Dying Here - Scars Of Life
Listen to samples and Purchase this CD online

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