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Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Return to A New Form, 17 April 2012
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This review is from: Dead Set on Living (Audio CD)
I've become quite a Cancer Bats fanboy after listening to their first three albums hundreds of times and never losing interest. I've never been disappointed, never felt like a song wasn't as good as it could have been. It's clear that these four guys put in a lot of effort, and have a true passion for what they do. You don't get that very often in this day and age. Cancer Bats are my favourite hardcore band, and fast becoming my favourite band to date. And I listen to many bands, and many genres. I adore music. And "Dead Set On Living" is a valuable part of my collection now.

When I heard about this album, I flat out refused to listen to any of the singles, or watch the videos. I didn't even watch interviews for fear of a snippet of a song being played. I wanted to go into this with a fresh mind, and with no premeditations of what the album should be. And I can't stress it enough. I love this album. It's the best thing I've heard all year, maybe even throughout the past two years.

I'll admit it now, this isn't my favourite Cancer Bats album, that has and always will be "Birthing the Giant" which, while clearly not the strongest, struck something in me that no other album has before. It's an album that I would probably create if I had a band (hmm...). However I believe that "D.S.O.L" is the strongest. It has versatility in tone, rhythm and overall sound. Each member is valuable and strong. This album stretches the limits of their talents, and shows that the band are becoming stronger every year. It's a new era for the band, as each album has proven to be.

Anyway, shut up and get on with the review!

1) R.A.T.S - An atmospheric opening and one hell of a chorus riff. It's a slow one, fans of the likes of "Lucifer's Rocking Chair" and "Sleep This Away" will be pleased. The slowness of the song intensifies the heaviness, and will keep you headbanging throughout.

2) Bricks and Mortar - This is a unique song for Cancer Bats. It has a different tone, rhythm and sound. And I'm loving it.

3) Road Sick - Punk for the win! This one has melody, is catchy and addictive. It's about this point where we hear the versatility in Liam Cormier's vocal talents too. He differentiates between styles for disparate effect. The best example for comparison is "Drive This Stake" but this is something quite new.

4) Breathe Armageddon - Mike Peters draws you in with the opening drumbeat, you know something's building, and then the crunching and squealing of Middleton's guitar begins and you're in the thick of it. A versatile song, ranging through slow and fast rhythms.

5) D.S.O.L - Party song! Great structure here. Middleton and Schwarzer synchronise brilliantly during the verses, and the most satisfying aspect has to be the drums pounding out aggression. Turns out, this isn't about partying your life up, but overcoming drugs and alcohol in the spirit of being dead set on living. Nice message.

6) The Void - The longest song on the album, and it doesn't feel long at all thanks to the strong structure. It's slow, but it's still very heavy, and I do find myself banging my head to it. The kind of song that's played at the end of a gig. Takes the fast pace down a bit, but is still enough to keep you moving.

7) Old Blood - One of my favourites. I'm addicted to this, it's like cocaine on my iPod. It's a fast song, some parts of it bringing "Birthing the Giant" to mind. The verse riff smacks of "Sorceress". This song I could stick on repeat for a while, it sure gets my heart racing.

8) Drunken Physics - My favourite. We see more variety in the vocals here, and in the music in general. The melody in the chorus is great. "Drunken Physics" adds something that a lot of Bats songs don't, a story line. The pacing is brilliant. I don't think I know what I mean here, but there you go, that's the best I can do. Awesome song.

9) B*stards! - Very heavy opening, and an overall menacing tone. Makes me feel like my enemies are being destroyed before my very eyes! Delighted to hear Dez Farfara (lead singer of DevilDriver, in case you don't know - great band) lending his strong metal vocals to the table.

10) Rally the Wicked - Full force. Speed. Aggression. - Perfect!

11) New World Alliance - Final song for "DSOL", and a fine way to end it too. This shows that Cancer Bats have well and truly evolved. There are many songs on here that sound very different to everything the band has produced thus far, but this one takes the cake. The melody alone was enough to make my head spin - in a good way...hmmm - and not to mention Middleton's solo which doesn't quite fit into the song. Thank you!

Like I said before, this is a new level for the band. A new era that I personally love. This album builds on the musical style of the band, it is very different in the same way that each album has been disparate from one another, and yet there are still fragments of the previous albums that should leave very little fans disappointed. If you're a fan of the band, you must hear this album! Beg borrow or steal. And if you're a new-comer, be it fan of metal, hardcore, or heavy punk, then I highly recommend this.

And just to confirm, this is not a knee-jerk reaction to the album. I've been listening to it all day. And I mean all day.

Liam Cormier, Scott Middleton, Jaye Schwarzer, Mike Peters, if you happen to read this (which of course you will, in my dreams) then thank you for making my life that much more enjoyable.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Apr 2012 18:33:04 BDT
An engaging, well-written review. I too am a massive fanboy and would have bought this anyway, but still thoroughly enjoyed reading your first impressions.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Apr 2012 18:56:06 BDT
Max Watt says:
Thanks a lot! Hope you enjoy it.
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Max Watt
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Location: UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 208,010