Album number four from Cancer Bats
Cancer Bats fourth album fits snugly into their cannon, packed with punk edged gems and towering riffs, in essence the band's formula hasn't changed significantly over the four albums but they have such a distinctive sound - the mix of hardcore punk and metal backed by Liam Cormier's unmistakeable vocal delivery - that a new record is always welcome. In fact, Dead Set On Living feels much more diverse than their last album Bears, Mayors, Scraps & Bones which at times tended towards samey with an overarching darkness taking over, but this time a more varied mix works well, with lighter tunes tempering their doom laden side and a smattering of more groove-laden (verging on stoner rock) moments making the album more memorable and satisfying.
It kicks off with the scuzzy, distorted bass and meaty metal riffage of R.A.T.S, Mr. Cormier sounds royally pissed off at life and his forceful screams pump emotion into the track - a cracking start. Bricks and Mortar changes the tempo; bouncy chugs from the guitar get you up and moving. Next up Road Sick is the most obviously punk toned so far and sure to be a favourite, the catchy tune and great vocals have you hooked in no time - as an opening trio of tracks they really work to pull you in to this record.
Heavy duty mode crashes in on Breathe Armageddon which has a doom laden, dark sound but in true Cancer Bats fashion still injects that extra addictive quality with nice break downs and sing along vocal lines, it's quickly followed by the intense D.S.O.L. which has relentlessly nasty (and at times brilliantly discordant) riffs and then the superbly dark and sludgy The Void.
This is a solid release for the band, one that's full of memorable, grooveable tunes. It's great to hear they still aren't close to running out of ideas yet; here's hoping there will be many more albums of this quality to come from them.