Editor's Rating

Have a listen to: 'All Hail' and 'Cursed With A Conscience'

Rating out of 10

Cancer Bats – Searching For Zero

Release Date: 10th March 2015
Metal Blade Records

iTunes: http://apple.co/1NONZnb

After a three year wait due to a heavy touring schedule, Cancer Bats return with their fifth studio record ‘Searching For Zero’. Produced by Ross Robinson (KORN, At The Drive In) ‘Searching For Zero feels to me like an amalgamation of all they have written prior to this record.

Their Bat-Sabbath persona lives on through the stoner-doom riffs & chugs with plenty of fuzzed out bass on ‘Buds‘ & ‘Beelzebub‘. Their more traditional hardcore sounds are in the albums openers ‘Satellites‘ & ‘True Zero‘ and there is also a real hardcore punk belter entitled ‘All Hail‘; a fast and ferocious barrage of chords and drum beats clocking in at less than 01:30 long, with a chorus chanting “All Hail Oderus”. This is a tribute to the fallen GWAR vocalist Dave Brockie.

Dusted‘ features a slow bass and drum fade-in before cutting out and then bringing the guitars in for a slow, plodding verse, before the album closes with ‘No More Bullshit‘ – a song that features harsh tremolo picking and low shouting vocals from Cormier. ‘Arsenic In The Year Of The Snake‘ punches in with the entire band for a mid-tempo banger with a huge shout from Cormier at the end screaming “Too many friends died this year”. ‘Cursed With  A Conscience‘ has a nice rolling bass intro with some great fuzz distortion when the drums roll in shortly after. This song is unlike anything you have heard from the Bats before, and it’s catchy as hell, with the lyrics before the chorus kicks in at the end of the first verse “I am a Pacifist, I never fight anyone”.

It’s clear this band have progressed and evolved whilst still retaining their traditional Cancer Bats sound, largely due to vocalist Liam Cormier’s one of a kind, instantly recognisable screams and growls and guitarist Scott Middleton’s cheeky pinch harmonics embellished in his riffs.

Sometimes it feels that this album is a bit doom-centric and slower paced than previous records, but it’s got all the heavy hard rock swagger that you grow to love from Cancer Bats. Whether you’re walking along the street listening to it with headphones in, or at home playing video games, you won’t be able to help yourself from head banging and playing air guitar.

What I fear this album lacks after listening to it for a few days, is the longevity and all-out ferocity of Hail Destroyer. That’s a hard goal to aspire to, but this is as close as Cancer Bats have come than the previous two records. This is one of their finest efforts to date and Robinson did a fantastic job producing the record.