Wisconsin’s Time To Kill are certainly pros at the music game. They’ve been around a whopping seven years, released two albums worldwide, shared the stage with Beatallica and After the Burial, and have survived multiple member changes to still tell their story today. Now they occupy the “Number 1” spot on the Wisconsin ReverbNation metal charts, and are poised to continue building a legacy for many years to come with “Ashes to Ashes”, a 13-track melting pot of punk, thrash and classic metal, released in late 2013.
After an eerie introduction, consisting of ticking clocks and swampy six-string flange, the title track immediately proves Time To Kill’s disregard for the compartmentalization of genres. Keith Monville’s chunky guitar chords are weighted with 80's heaviness but somehow manage to travel down the fretboard with impressive speed, conjuring a sound both punk and metal in nature. Drummer Steven Heath showcases his diverse percussive range by constantly switching up the feel of the rhythm between fast aggression and trudging power. Genre traversing is not an easily taught compositional skill, but those seven years’ worth of experience under the Time To Kill belt are certainly paying off here.
Lyrically, the Wisconsin rockers offer just as much, if not more, sonic diversity. Munro can go straight from an alcohol-fueled anthem (“99 Beers”) to indulgent dining titles (“Chocolate Covered Bacon”) before switching right back to bleak, depressive themes (“I’ve Got Nothing”). It’s nice to know that a band so infatuated by death and dismay can still have fun, which makes “Ashes to Ashes” much more of an engaging emotional roller-coaster than a straight downward spiral.
It’s hard to say where Time To Kill will take their sound next, having already proven themselves adept at molding three vastly different styles together in a way that’s both original and familiar, but given the band’s mosaic of an oeuvre, the sky seems to be the limit at this point. Pick up a copy of “Ashes to Ashes” from the band’s Facebook and catch them on tour in the Midwest as soon as possible. And expect an even wider spectrum of sounds to be covered the next time around—if you can handle it.
Listen to "Ashes to Ashes" Here:
By: Max Puhala