Overall Score: 9/10 Riffs: 9/10 Lyrics: 9/10 Vocals: 9/10 Pros: Brilliant riffs | Several standout songs | Liam Cormier's vocals and lyrics Cons: Production will certainly put some off
After taking almost all of 2014 off, Cancer Bats have made their return with their fifth album Searching For Zero. With four fantastic albums already under their belt Cancer Bats have come back with something a little different, Searching For Zero will no doubt prove to be the most divisive album Cancer Bats have released.
The most discussed aspect of the album has no doubt been the production job by Ross Robinson, or the fact there seems to be a complete lack of production. The album sounds like it was recorded on cassette in a basement and this has definitely split opinions with many people hating the way the album sounds. Now if this was a radio friendly album then this production would definitely be a problem. But it’s a punk album and punk isn’t exactly supposed to sound nice. When you add in that lyrically this is Cancer Bats darkest album yet these elements combine together to create Cancer Bats most brutal record yet.
Moving onto the actual album itself Cancer Bats haven’t strayed too far from their core sound, mixing hardcore punk with stoner metal riffs. Guitarist Scott Middleton certainly takes centre stage this time round delivering the kind of riffs Black Sabbath would be proud of on every song. The individual songs are all brilliant with plenty of variety throughout and at only 10 songs there is not a single filler track on the album. As mentioned before lyrically this is far darker than any other Cancer Bats album and as a result is also lyrically their best album. Lead single “Arsenic In The Year Of The Snake” is a definite standout as Liam screams about all the loses the band suffered in 2013. The intensity can be felt in his vocals throughout the entire album.
Searching For Zero is certainly Cancer Bats most challenging album yet. The end results might see the band take a step down in venue size as fans are put off by this experimentation but that does not make this album bad at all. It’s a bold experiment from a band who spent years refining their sound and is arguably their best album since Hail Destroyer.