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Cancer Bats
- Dead Set On Living

"Remaining are the sludgy qualities that encompassed their previous release, but coupled with them now is a sharp tonality, the guitars especially stadium-worthy."

Benny Doyle

May 7th 2012 | Label: Distort
With Dead Set On Living, Toronto's Cancer Bats show yet another side to their sound, this fourth instalment of their hardcore journey another assured step up the food chain. This album is unforgiving, heavy-handed but also versatile and multifaceted. It is easily the band's most consistent work, a big part of which is due to Liam Cormier's relentless oral assault, his lyrics talking directly to the masses and simply commanding the listener's attention.

Remaining are the sludgy qualities that encompassed their previous release Bears, Mayors, Scraps & Bones, but coupled with them now is a sharp tonality, the guitars especially stadium-worthy on tracks such as opener Rats and Breathe Armageddon. When they pace up the timing, the intensity levels match it and the songs really kill. Old Blood is the sound of rock music clawing at your skin with a big shouty chorus to rally the troops, while Road Sick is unrelenting in its ability to spit directly in your face, the chorus not so much oozing as seriously exploding out of the speakers. Having the extreme vocal balancing act of DevilDriver's Dez Fafara and An Horse's Kate Cooper on Bastards also needs to be commended for its sheer audaciousness.

At times Dead Set On Living recalls Every Time I Die. Eighties thrashers such as Metallica and Anthrax are definitely paid homage to, and more than once it even stirs some old Marilyn Manson dirge to the surface. But this amalgamation is simply 2012's Cancer Bats. Dead Set On Living has rolled everything great from a variety of metal styles, regurgitating it in the form of an arse-kicking 40 minutes of pure, bruising goodness.

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