Cancer Bats
Hail Destroyer


3.5
great

Review

by Jeremy Price USER (33 Reviews)
May 17th, 2008 | 32 replies | 27,933 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Canada's Gallows release another solid album of songs to get into fights to.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Subtlety has never been the strong suit of punk music. Punk, in all its forms, is generally about fast tempos, power chords, and three-minute compositions. This is all mighty fine for the casual music fan, but for the more discriminate musical connoisseur, punk rock lacks the depth and variance to attract more than a cursory glance. That being said, Hail Destroyer, the Cancer Bats’ sophomore release, isn’t going to change anyone’s minds about the punk/hardcore genre. They yell, they scream, they pummel you with monster riffs and harsh vocals, and then, thirty-five minutes later, they’re gone. However, if you’re willing to accept them as a guilty pleasure, or even better a generally great band, then Hail Destroyer will give you exactly what you want.

Hail Destroyer isn’t too different from the band’s explosive debut, Birthing The Giant. It’s still the same guitar driven hardcore/southern rock formula that gave them their start. The biggest evolution made within the band is with vocalist Liam Cormier. On BTG, Liam’s vocals mostly consisted of him either shouting or “speaking aggressively”. Here, he finally breaks out some actual screams, giving the music a bit of variety it definitely could use in spots. His vocals are comparable to a more aggressive/less melodic Tim McIlrath (who makes a somewhat lackluster guest appearance of “Harem of Scorpions”), and there isn’t too much to fault with his performance.

Because this is a mainly riff driven album, the heaviest load falls on guitarist Scott Middleton. Thankfully, he delivers in full with head-banging, chair-flipping, teeth-gnashing riffs worthy of the best mosh pit. He may not be the most technical guitarist you’ve ever seen, but that’s really irrelevant. His greatest strength is knowing what it takes to wring the most out of a song. On “Regret”, he follows the song’s slightly odd progression flawlessly, switching from a classy palm-muted shuffle into a weirdly groovy verse riff, before breaking into a flurry of notes that could very well be considered one of the shrewdest pieces of audience manipulation the band have ever committed to disc.

It’s the album’s brilliant titular track, though, that’s the true antithesis of the Cancer Bat’s motto: be the heaviest band ever. It’s essentially the album’s dead canary, letting you know just what sort of toxic depths will soon follow. Liam’s vocals are sharp and harsh, Scott pummels you the album’s most head-banging riff, bassist Jaye lays down a solid foundation underneath the guitar, and Mike, the band’s drummer, continues to provide passable (but never standout) beats that, at the very least, fit the music well. For those looking for a representation of the band’s heavier elements, “Pray For Darkness” is about as perfect a summation as you’re going to find. It’s a 90-second blaze of pointed metal riffing the never relents or compromises, and is the most concise way to sum up everything that’s awesome about the band.

Despite the band’s unwavering dedication to hardcore, they do add a nice bit of variety to the mix. “Lucifer’s Rocking Chair” is a grimy, slow, and deliberate beast of a song that is eerily reminiscent of a slower Mastodon song, and indeed feels like a mammoth slowly lumbering ever on. “Let It Pour” has that almost dance-y feel that could have come straight from the band’s debut, while “Deathsmarch” builds until a gang vocal finale that’s a perfect conclusion to a great song.

Despite all these positive attributes, Hail Destroyer isn’t some sort of godsend hardcore blessing or anything. Most of what’s here can be taken in within one listen, so there’s not the same replay value as there is with more experimental hardcore bands like Converge. Also, eventually the chugging riff patterns get tiring, as they are used throughout the album to varying effectiveness. Then there are songs like “Sorceress” which are too much of a structural mess to properly get a hold on. Make no mistake; this isn’t an album for fans of art-rock.

Still, Hail Destroyer is ultimately true in its aims. It does exactly what it sets out to do (namely, provoke its listeners to mosh like there’s no tomorrow), and it caters to exactly the audience it wants. Whether you are among those in this desired audience is directly dependant on your musical tastes. For all you children of nothing, this is your song.

Recommended Songs:
Hail Destroyer
Lucifer’s Rocking Chair
Pray For Darkness



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user ratings (322)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
ThePriceofBeauty
June 26th 2008



72 Comments


Lol, awkward summary.

HeadCharge123
June 26th 2008



475 Comments


Enjoyable album to listen to, which caught me by surprise ...I thought it was gonna be poor.

RandMcNally
July 8th 2008



158 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think you summed up the album nicely there, its a good album, some of it is very good, but it wont provoke anything other than fistpumping and devil horns, but thats why these guys are great. They want you to have fun listening to their music, and you will...for a while.This Message Edited On 07.08.08

greg84
Staff Reviewer
July 11th 2008



7305 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

To my surprise this album is awesome. They are basically hardcore, but tend to resort to other genres like for example some more straight-forward piunk and southern rock. In particular, the guitar work is impressive here.

Digging: Dog Fashion Disco - Sweet Nothings

streetripper
July 22nd 2008



28 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This album is so good. Whenever i hear 'Hail Destroyer' my head just compulsively starts banging up and down. Awesome album.

Wizard
July 22nd 2008



19206 Comments


Really good review. Didn't like much from what I've heard.

Digging: Merzbow - Dust of Dreams

Tyler
Emeritus
July 22nd 2008



7928 Comments


They're fun, but really not good.

MadnessUnhallowed
July 22nd 2008



403 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album's pretty good, but they are more fun than talent.

Mill
August 22nd 2008



2 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I really enjoyed this album. Really good to listen to again and again

marksellsuswallets
August 22nd 2008



4848 Comments


Canada's Gallows

if that's the case...I don't think I will be checking this out any time soon

cvlts
November 7th 2008



8954 Comments


just bought it, smacks of a punkish Every Time I Die... i like it
completely agree with the review =]]

Phantom
December 2nd 2008



8930 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Into this quite a bit at the moment. Liking the groove and fun element they have.

Lucifer's Rocking Chair is awes.

RandMcNally
December 17th 2008



158 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Was sceptical of these guys when Kerrang gave them 5 stars. But its actually a good album, straight-up, balls out southern hardcore. Its great fun for a while but get boring after a few listens. Bring this out to mosh to, that what this was made for.

Deathcar
May 28th 2009



1534 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Very well written review.

Eh, I can't get into this, despite numerous attempts, I just find it pretty average, I think the latest Bronx album is far better (or Grey Britain for that matter...)

Not bad, and the song Hail Destroyer is sick, but nothing as special as it's made out to be.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
May 28th 2009



3760 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

pretty much

Digging: Towers - Bel Air Highrise Plantation

Thor
May 28th 2009



10168 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Album is fun to drink to.

MizaelMassacre
September 10th 2009



48 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ALL HAIL CANCER BATS

YouAreMySilence
September 26th 2009



3727 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

They new ideas.

TRMshadow
January 26th 2010



4982 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ..........
pretty much sums up my feelings about this album

HaloDude442
February 6th 2010



692 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Saw a concert last night with these guys and Anti-Flag, as well as aiden. This band rocked the place to hell, especially when they did a beastie boys cover of sabotage. It was awesome, i got the CD for 5 bucks.



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