Monday, August 29, 2016

Untimely Demise-Black Widow

When one thinks of metal music in Canada, it's usually Toronto, Montreal, or Vancouver, with a band or two popping out of Calgary or Edmonton. Left out in the cold (no pun intended) are the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Not since Into Eternity broke out in the early 2000's has a band from Saskatchewan emerged with even a moderate amount of success. The Saskatoon thrash trio known as Untimely Demise is looking to make a name for themselves, and as they release the all-important third album in their discography, titled Black Widow, it is where they will be made or broken.

The heart of Untimely Demise is brothers Matt and Murray Cuthbertson, and with what can be best described as a revolving door of second guitarists and drummers (they're currently operating without a second guitarist and are on their third drummer in Bryan Newbury), getting the sound the band wants has certainly been a challenge.

Black Widow begins with "Forgotten in Time," and while it is a decent opener, the track length is what works against it, as it seemingly takes forever to get to the point. "Enslaver" does a better job of getting the point across, and compared to the previous track, is the more well-rounded track, as it shows more speed to go with its thrash, and also features more in the way of vocal range. The title track is a grittier song that shows Untimely Demise and their ability to get dirty when needed, as well as a guitar solo that shows their musical ability. "Calling Me Back from the Light" ranks up with "Enslaver" as one of the best songs on Black Widow, as it shows everything that Untimely Demise is capable of musically. Vocal range is somewhat a weakness with most thrash bands, and Untimely Demise is no different. However, they do make an effort on improving it, as "Sickening Repression" proves. Certainly, Untimely Demise is going all out to make Black Widow their best album yet, as they recruited Shawn Drover (ex-Megadeth, Act of Defiance) and Tim Roth (Into Eternity) for guest appearances, Justin Bender (Into Eternity, Third Ion) to produce the album, and renowned thrash cover artist Ed Repka to contribute to their album.

Knowing that the third album is usually a make or break album, Untimely Demise pulls out all the stops to ensure that they mean business. Black Widow is one of the more pleasant surprises of the year, standing out in what is often an over-saturated thrash metal market. Sure, there are a few blemishes on the album, but those are often correctable in time, but there is considerable potential with the band, and there is much to like about the album. A dark horse for the year-end list.

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