Thursday, 15 March 2012

CANCER - Death Shall Rise (1991)

1. Hung, Drawn and Quartered
2. Tasteless Incest
3. Burning Casket
4. Death Shall Rise
5. Back From The Dead
6. Gruesome Tasks
7. Corpse Fire
8. Internal Decay

Cancer was a British death metal band formed in Ironbridge, Telford, Shropshire in 1988 by drummer Carl Stokes, guitarist John Walker and bassist Ian Buchanan. After releasing their debut record "To The Gory End" (1990), the band flew out to Florida to begin recording follow up "Death Shall Rise" with Scott Burns at Morrisound. They enlisted the skills of James Murphy (ex-Death and Obituary) on lead guitar, and Deicide's Glen Benton to provide backing vocals for lead track "Hung, Drawn and Quartered".

The album would go on to gain a certain amount of notoriety owing to being banned in Germany, whose state body for censorship of works likely to be dangerous to youth, considered that the cover art would encourage youngsters to incite violence upon each other

James Murphy is the main driving force of this album and is an extremely impressive and interesting guitarist. His riffing style is mostly the basis of the album; one of the only things I don’t like is how the solos here stick out against the rest of the song. Sometimes they simply sound awkward and like they belong in a completely different song. However, this is mostly a minor complaint, since the solos sound fine on their own. Sometimes it simply breaks the pace of a song, but generally the song can pick up where it left off without it being annoying, but the songs mesh do well - it is not a haphazard collection of other bands' riffs. Each song is well-crafted, the musicians are on par with their contemporaries, and the album will finish well before you expect it to. That is always the mark of a good album. In particular, I'd recommend the songs “Hung, Drawn and Quartered”, "Death Shall Rise" and “Burning Casket”.

The production on the album is very clear and fitting for the music. It capitalizes the slightly low end, heavy guitar. As far as the songs themselves go, they don’t really stray from the standard fast paced songs with slower, “groovy” thrash riffs put in. For someone who doesn’t listen to this type of metal that much, it may be hard to approach the same sounding songs a bit at first, but for someone who’s well versed in the music and is better at picking up the little differences and such, there shouldn’t be anything that’s particularly hard to get into about this album. All in all, a very solid enough effort.

*The band made a promotional video for the song "Back From The Dead" which took inspiration from the 1985 film "Re-Animator". Cover artwork was provided by Junior Tomlin.

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