Untimely Demise – Systematic Eradication (Punishment 18 Records)Sunday, 8th December 2013
Thrash bands always use the most literal interpretations for their album covers. As in, if someone is getting killed, mauled, or in this case, “eradicated,” it will show up on the cover. Maybe it dovetails into the idea that a great amount of brains isn’t required to herd up music of this variety…it’s certainly possible, but it doesn’t nothing to dispel some of the negative stereotypes thrown at thrash with any inkling of retro, which is the case for Saskatoon, Saskatchewan’s Untimely Demise and their second album, Systemic Eradication.
Produced and engineered by former King Diamond/Megadeth lead guitarist Glen Drover, the album peels paint the way a thrash album should, as in, the drums have some clank, the guitars are somewhat trebly, and a few echo effects are thrown on the vocals for that lovely 80’s effect. The band certainly know their way around a standard-to-form thrash track, like opener “Spiritual Embezzlement,” which is a crash course in old-school circa 2013 thrash. The inclusion of melody on “The Last Guildsman” is a winner, while the Kreator churn of “Navigator’s Choice” evokes all sorts of Pleasure to Kill-like visions. Hardly unwanted, mind you, but being that it’s the 500th variation of the form, a bit overdone.
The fact Systematic Eradication treads a very careful line when handling the numerous clichés that seemingly come pre-packaged with thrash should be a point in the favor of Untimely Demise. Ultimately, they’re already behind the 8-ball for their style of choice, and it’s not like we can vault back to 2008 for some good not-so-friendly retro thrash fun. So really, the only thing left to do is phone up Ed Repka, have him paint a cartoonish, but visually appealing cover, and hope the high-top waywards are still hanging around.