Untimely Demise – “Systematic Eradication”


Untimely Demise - Systematic EradicationThrash has been a long time favourite genre of the metal scene, spawning some great bands over its history. Its energy and power is similar to punk, but often with emphasis on heavier, and more melodic and technical overtones. Thrash has also been a genre that seems to be quiet compatible as a crossover source. Now death metal has evolved much over the decades and has opened a landscape of highly successful technical bands, and talented musicians.

This brings me to The Thrash/Death-Metal band ‘Untimely Demise’ , a band formed in April 2006 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan by brothers Matthew and Murray Cuthbertson. The group has made their mark on the metal music scene by incorporating the influences of genre-leaders Megadeth, Death, Arch Enemy, Testament, Exodus, and so forth into an ambitious package that places a paramount focus on guitar-work and musicianship. The band by all accounts places a lot of energy and strength on the technical aspects of their sound.

In 2008 the ensemble began working with ex-Megadeth lead guitarist/producer Glen Drover in his private studio in Toronto. They have now recorded three albums together (Full Speed Metal EP 2009/ City Of Steel 2011 and Systematic Eradication 2013). Having toured Canada extensively for the last 4 years, Untimely Demise has built a reputation as a go-to group for headlining dates, but also as support for metal legends such as Anvil, Skeletonwitch, Massacre, Suffocation, 3 Inches Of Blood, Into Eternity, Goatwhore, Evile, Death Angel,Toxic Holocaust, Gama Bomb, Bonded By Blood, Obscura, Abysmal Dawn, etc.

The band has been well-received by metal and traditional media, earning impressive print reviews and features in UK’s Metal Hammer Mag, Terrorizer, Rock Hard Italy, Hard Rocker Mag (Poland/Czech Republic) as well as Decibel (US), Exclaim, etc. Among these accolades the band was nominated for a Sirius XM Canadian Independent Music Award for Metal Group of the Year in 2012. All these show case a band that strives to better themselves musically and entertain with excellence at heart through technical musicianship.
Very rarely would I add the distinction of sophistication to a metal act even more so a thrash act with deathly overtones. That said this is an embodiment of the sound of the band. Their sound is a confident, embraced by a sense of physicality, which engages with impressive arsenal of riffs. Immediately a band like Kreator comes to mind.

Systematic Eradication adds old school thrash characteristics embedded with a technical death metal infusion. Well many bands tend to follow a trend or a style often castrating their talent to produce something fresh and relevant Canada’s Untimely Demise cannot be lump dumped into that category even if you tried.

It is obvious that they utilize thrash as a foundational leverage for attack . Its from here that they build their sound and articulate themselves whilst injecting within various other styles, mostly death though with brilliant effect. It is this that sets them apart from many of their peers and stands them in as an original act.

Over all Systematic Eradication is a sophisticated piece of musical history, and sees them evolving into a sharpened sword. This album leaves behind any remnant of simplicity that they might have had on previous releases, and the album is not only more mature in its delivery, but far more diverse. It’s this diversity that shows off the skill and technicality of the overall package.

What is evident and totally noticeable on first listen is the energy of the album, its front and centre and screams out for a thrash mosh pit to be born. Right from the start the riff laden guitars are in your face, taunting with thrash splendour. “Spiritual Embezzlement” unfolds the album in an energetic burst of melodic thrash and death metal. There are some power metal influences that are evident throughout the album, like with “The Last Guildsman”. Over the drumming throughout comes across aggressive and at times push the melodic to overdrive, forcing a relentless drive forward regardless. Sometimes it works, but there are times where it does not. The song is filled with gut wrenching riffs trading relentless leads and impressing with technical solos.

There are times where the album over balances itself with its thrash/death mix, but when they get it right, this crazy train is unstoppable and to be admired. Strong performances abound throughout though, and the album drives with a relentless force of energy that often in this genre can be overpowered or put to death by over technicality. In their expression of musical influence we see a band that has grown in strides, but it’s the vocalist Matt Cuthbertson that has leaped frogged ahead. The vocals have expanded and his ability to cross over from a general rasp to the melodic death metal growl is done with smooth agility and great craftsmanship. Overall they have all grown, and a sense of maturity and excellence is found throughout.

They are certainly still discovering themselves, and honing their abilities, and I guess they still have yet to reach where they attend to go. It’s in this that the album shows its self as a band that is still on its way to reaching its ultimate momentum. Some of you are perhaps familiar with their material might miss the straightforward thrash punches of their debut release as this album explores a far more technical exploit of the bands evolving personality. Not to say it does not have gut wrenching momentum tracked by copious amounts of thrash energy. Is it the right direction? Time will tell, but for now my personal feeling is yes, and their insistence to include multiple genres with the technical skills they possess, is certainly something that if correctly done will see them run way ahead of the pack. In total you getting a album that is loaded on steroids, exudes copious amounts of thrash energy embodied by some amazing technical skills. You can still hear they are finding themselves, but once that’s sorted, I have no doubt that they will take you on one hell of a ride.

Rating: 7.5/10

Reviewed by Donovan de Necker

Track listing:
1. Spiritual Embezzlement
2. The Last Guildsman
3. Somali Pirates
4. Redemption
5. Navigator’s Choice
6. A Warrior’s Blood
7. Revolutions
8. Escape From Supermax

Band Members:
Matt Cuthbertson – Lead Guitar and Vocals
Murray Cuthbertson – Bass Guitar
Sam Martz – Lead Guitar
Cory Thomas – Drums

Record Label: Punishment 18 Records, Oct. 2013

Full Speed Metal EP (2009)
City Of Steel (2011)
Systematic Eradication (2013)

Weblinks: Facebook / Twitter / Bandcamp

Video below for ‘The Last Guildsman’

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