When I was a kid the Canadian band Cancer Bats were a real hype. I never had anything with the band. At the time metalcore was one of the last subgenres I’d be attracted to, so no Cancer Bats for me. Now, quite some years later, I got slightly more adjusted to the punk and metalcore scene. So I decided to give the new Cancer Bats, ‘Searching For Zero’ a try.
These Canadians have made ten new songs that, if I have to believe the description, combines everything they did on their past albums. Since I don’t know any of their music, I cannot confirm that. What I do know, is that they alternately play a good song, and then a bad song.
Frankly, the good songs are also the longer ones, say around the three-and-a-half minutes to almost five, while the short tracks are one thirty to two minutes. Something clearly deriving from the punk scene, making noise and screaming as much as you can in as short a time there is.
Opener ‘Satellites’ gives a great impression of this band. On the one hand the intro is comparable to Rise Against, but on the other hand they scream and play like a metalcore band. The following song ‘True Zero’ is one of the better songs on the album. A powerful and musical strong track, combining best of both styles.
‘Arsenic In The Year Of The Snake’ is a very short, “scream as much as you can, without really making sense”, kind of song. One of the worst, together with ‘Devils Blood’, ‘All Hail’, ‘Dusted’ and ‘No More Bull Shit’.
The best track is easily the fourth one, ‘Beelzebub’. A nice and low riff, combined with an amazing piece of guitar works. This is a truly great song. Vocalist Liam Cormier is not the greatest singer, but it gives the song character. Not too much screaming and a brilliant refrain.
If you counted with me, there are ten songs, of which five are bad. That would be a very, very average album. But you got to award points for the amazing ‘Beelzebub’. It truly saves their asses this time.
Maybe, if you are a die-hard metalcore fan you would turn this review the other way around and like the five songs I dislike. If you do, I would love to hear why in the comments below. No, I haven’t been convinced I should look into the older Cancer Bats. It seems like my teenage self at least had some feeling for music.
Released: 6 March 2015
Record-label: Noise Church Records
- True Zero
- Arsenic In The Year Of The Snake
- Devil’s Blood
- Cursed With A Conscience
- All Hail
- No More Bull Shit