Untimely Demise hails from Canada and joins the legions of awesome thrash bands that are now signed to Italian label Punishment 18 Records. “Systematic Eradication” marks their sophomore record, and is a blueprint for creating thrash that is sure to turn some heads. Starting with the obvious, the cover art, this is one of Ed Repka’s stronger showings in recent years. With that essential element secured, the band brought in Glen Drover (ex-Megadeth) to handle the production, and he did a stellar job. The guitars are truly massive, and when they utilize simpler riffs, it becomes immediately clear how perfect of a crunch they have. The other instruments generally compliment the guitars, as they are the highlight on “Systematic Eradication”.
This is most evident with the opening track, “Spiritual Embezzlement”, which really displays everything that Untimely Demise is about. It begins with an exceptionally technical riff. Fear not, however, as this riff isn’t about showing off the skill of the guitarists (that would come a few seconds later when the first guitar solo kicks in), but rather, about creating something a little bit different that will still get your head banging. These types of technical riffs are characteristic of the record as a whole (the opening riff to “A Warrior’s Blood” is perhaps the most technical on the record, but is still quite brutal), but there is still plenty of room for more melodic simpler stuff. The second song, “The Last Guildsman” is a testament to this fact, as it opens with melodious leads, which also show up underneath the chorus. This second track also shows some vocal variation. For the most part, Matt Cuthbertson’s vocals are a harsh, raspy growl, like some strange amalgamation of thrash, death, and black metal vocals. In the chorus of “The Last Guildsman”, however, he shows that he can actually use this deranged voice to sing with more range. To really create an even more potent record, Untimely Demise decided to really go all out in adding guitar solos to the record. They show up often on most tracks, and not always in the spots you might expect them to be. These solos add to the intensity of the album because they’re always fast, and they always hit hard.
Aside from the first couple of tracks, none of the others stand out in the same way. This is not to say that these tracks are any weaker than the first two; they just don’t have the same focus on staying power. “Navigator’s Choice” and “A Warrior’s Blood” for example, both have wicked mellow sections in the middle, which are driven by soloing, but those moments mainly stand out for their contrast to the remainder of the record. Nonetheless, at only 34 minutes, the record as a whole ends fairly quickly, so there is never a moment of filler, nor a second that isn’t completely awesome. If you are tired of predictable thrash records, “Systematic Eradication” should please you. It goes above and beyond what most bands in the style are currently doing in terms of unique songwriting. At the very least, this is a record you need to hear simply for its relentless ability to produce vengeful thrashing riffs.
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“The Last Guildsman”
“A Warrior’s Blood”
4.2/5 or 84%.