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August 18-31
VOL.14 ISSUE. 26
HOME / STORY

Massive Riffage

Craig Silliphant
Published Thursday May 26, 06:12 pm
Untimely Demise is back to show what thrash can do

Untimely Demise
Louis’ Pub
Saturday 28

Beauty and brutality are fused together on a subatomic level on Black Widow, the new album from Saskatoon’s Untimely Demise. If someone isn’t a fan of fast, heavy thrash they probably won’t stick around long enough to hear the intricacies in such music, plugging their ears, tsk-tsking, and sayin’ a prayer against Satan as they run for the hills.

But true bangers will hear the melodies and righteous skills behind the loudness. And on Black Widow, you get all the massive riffage you’d expect, but it’s balanced with classical sensibilities in the lighting-fast fretwork and even jazz-influenced (but still punishing) percussion.

“The amount of time, thought, and effort invested in this record is significantly greater than anything we’ve done in the past,” says bass player Murray Cuthbertson.

If you think the cover of Black Widow looks a lot like a Megadeth album, you aren’t an idiot. As with past Untimely records, the art was a commission by Ed Repka, who did famous Megadeth covers like Rust in Peace and Peace Sells. And the Megadeth connections don’t end there — the band works with brothers Glen and Shawn Drover, both former members of the iconic band. Glen had produced their past albums and acted as a mentor, and Shawn does some guest drumming on the new album (borrowing the kit from the most recent Untimely Demise addition — Into Eternity drummer Bryan Newbury).

“We are addicted to the thrash metal genre,” says Cuthbertson of himself and his own brother and bandmate, guitarist Matt Cuthbertson, “and always felt Megadeth had a little more swagger and depth than the other big four U.S. thrash bands.  That’s something we’re proud to emulate, and we take that exercise seriously.

“Our personal and professional association with ex-Megadeth members, Glen Drover and his brother Shawn Drover is a blessing that has helped us in countless ways,” adds Cuthbertson. “It allowed our music to be heard by fans, labels, and reviewers around the world and opened some doors that would’ve been impossible to walk through as an unknown band from Saskatchewan.”

Speaking of Saskatchewan... unlike their last three efforts produced out-of-province by Glen Drover, factors beyond the band’s control meant they had to dig deep to bring a new album to fruition. In addition to trying out Kickstarter (not to mention applying for several grants), the band had to record a little closer to home.

“We love working with [Glen Drover] but many factors outside of our control led us to make this a 100 per cent Saskie production,” says Cuthbertson. “It was an absolute pleasure recording in Regina … working with [Into Eternity/Third Ion producer and guitarist Justin Bender] at Blue Door and Retrosleep studios allowed us to be extremely meticulous in the recording, mixing, and mastering phase of this project.”

Now the band is keen to take Black Widow on the road — they’ll hit some hotspots in Saskatchewan and Alberta, then hook up with Act of Defiance and a few other bands to bring the noise to the nation.

“In total, it is gonna be a 9,488 kilometre trek,” says Cuthbertson. “And we can’t wait to get out there and show off our new music — to play a lot of bludgeoning thrash and death metal on stages across Canada, see some old friends and meet some new ones, and drink a lot of beer and gorge on poutine in Quebec.” 

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