Untimely Demise – City of Steel
Release: 2010Nov28 (original) / 2011Sep13 (re-release)
Label: Self-released (original) / Sonic Unyon (re-release)
Sometimes, without realizing it, your ears need to wrap around specific sounds. The reasons vary, but in the case of myself and Untimely Demise, I hadn’t heard solid new melodeath in months. So I looked at Ed Repka’s artwork from City of Steel, tried to figure out what’s in store, and though I expected a certain level of thrashing goodness, the 33-minute, 7-song EP has crept into my playlists for weeks now.
The length is perfect; just enough to sample, and the seed is planted for future growth. Helping immensely is guitarist Glen Drover, known largely through Eidolon and his stint in Megadeth (for whom his brother, Shawn, still drums). The legendary latter’s classic sound is occasionally captured, but more likely you’ll hear allusions to Arch Enemy or Death. Oh—how could I forget?—the band I think they sound closest to, and where I draw strongest comparisons: Skeletonwitch.
These guys are a bit sillier, though—I love it!
Especially the blackened rasp, yeah? Frontman Matt Cuthbertson has a fierce young throat that is capable of an impressive range. Now and then, he pops out of gear, and just needs to learn control; but listen to all he has to say on “Unmaker” while exploring his full vocal breadth.
Like JLH’s boobs in The Ghost Whisperer, Cuthbertson’s tradeoff leads with Drover are attention-grabbers, and they’re everywhere (also like… well, you know). Be sure to sample the icing at the end of the title track; it’s both tasty and tasteful. What the dudes in Untimely Demise have a distaste for, though, is wasted life—which comes in many forms, from religious exploitation (“Forger of Belief”) to drug abuse (“Streets of Vice”), and both for selfish design. My favorite moments from drummer Scott Cross are in those two tracks as well.
Odd parallels surface throughout the recording. Like the fact that Glen Drover has been in bands with his own brother, similar to Matt and Murray Cuthbertson here, and… hold on, really? Okay, so the last time the Drovers recorded together was on Megadeth‘s United Abominations, and that had the supergoofytime liner notes by the fucking fictional character Jack Bauer from 24, remember?Alright, well “Hunting Evil” is a badass tune, and could be about Anonymous von Incognito, but they drop Bauer’s name at the end, and I simply don’t get it. Is the show that resonant with people? With Canadians in particular? Even into its final season? Skip it. Not the track, the topic. Buy and listen to City of Steel now, and get in on the ground floor with the savage Saskatoonian thrashers.
Try: 1, 3, 4, 6
01. Virtue in Death
02. Hunting Evil
03. City of Steel
04. The Unmaker
05. Forget of Belief
06. Streets of Vice
07. Bloodsoaked Mission