Cancer Bats – Dead Set On Living – Review

I remember a few of years ago before I last went to Reading Festival in 2008 (to see the mighty Rage Against The Machine, Among Others) I decided it would be a good idea to research some of the smaller bands I hadn’t heard of on the other stages to see if they were worth checking out at the festival. One of the bands I earmarked to check out was Canadian hardcore outfit Cancer Bats and although due to stage clashes I didn’t get to see them in the end their name stuck in my head, and now as we lead up to the Download Festival in 4 weeks time I’ve noticed them on the bill again but this time fully intend on seeing them. This leads me to the point for this article they released their new album ‘Dead Set On Living’ last month and I’ve now got around to reviewing it.

The opening song entitled ‘R.A.T.S.’ gets the album off to the best start possible, ‘R.A.T.S.’ is exploding with energy and enough force to destroy and smash everything in it’s way, it’s full of some really great doomy sounding riffs and some pinch harmonics that Zakk would be proud of! The next track ‘Bricks & Mortar’ is a real chugger of a song and I can really pick up on the Pantera influences that run through the band, as on tracks like this it has a real groove to it the type that Dime and Co used to be great at dishing out. Frontman Liam Cormier stated in an interview that he thought that the new album was like a ‘Jam’ because it had ‘Such a groove to it’ and I can see what he means the groove is ever-present, I would argue however that the jam feeling is for the better good as it makes the album sound so much more Raw and passionate.

Perhaps the best thing about ‘Dead Set On Living’ though is Cancer Bats ability to bring a diverse range of songs to the table and craft a really strong record out of it. It’s a record that will be appreciated by rock and metal lovers of all sorts from thrash to hardcore to groove. Even the abrasive screaming vocals which are so often a turn off for me really seem to work on this album and as a result I can easily look past my usual dislike of them. Overall on the strength of this album I will definitely be checking them out at Download festival this year as the chance will be there for me to do so, I would also say to everyone else if what you’ve read here makes you think you’ll like the album then check it out! I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

Rating: –

7/10

Tracklisting: –

1 R.A.T.S.
2 Bricks & Mortar
3 Road Sick
4 Breathe Armageddon
5 Dead Set On Living
6 The Void
7 Old Blood
8 Drunken Physics
9 Bastards
10 Rally the Wicked
11 New World Alliance

Recommended Tracks: –

‘R.A.T.S.’, ‘Bricks & Mortar’, ‘Breathe Armageddon’

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