Cancer Bats
Searching for Zero


4.5
superb

Review

by Simon STAFF
March 10th, 2015 | 52 replies


Release Date: 2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Think punk is dead? Cancer Bats prove otherwise.

To me Searching For Zero is the album the Cancer Bats should have brought out after Hail Destroyer. After the disappointing Bears, Mayors, Scraps & Bones and fan pleaser Dead Set On Living the band were becoming a little too predictable for my liking and I almost let this album slip me by. The Cancer Bats fifth studio outing takes Liam and co. to a much rawer and darker place.

When I heard Searching For Zero was being produced by legendary producer Ross Robinson, the man responsible for some of NU-metals biggest records from Limp Bizkit, Korn and Slipknot, as well as some of post-hardcore’s finest albums from bands such as At The Drive-In and Glassjaw, I knew the band would create something exciting and different. Ross is infamous for his unorthodox methods of pulling out the darkest emotions and fears from every member, which brings out a unique and genuine feel to every album Ross is involved in.

The Cancer Bats will be the first to tell you they aren’t afraid to show their Black Sabbath influenced doom riffs, which have been at the base of the band’s sound since the beginning, and Searching For Zero certainly brings this style to the forefront of the bands savaging sound in songs True Zero, Beelzebub, and most obviously, Buds. But what really makes this album so punishing is its production: intentionally sounding like the earliest records of the D.C hardcore/punk era of Bad Brains and Minor Threat. Searching For Zero is relentlessly raw and will definitely send the band back into the underbelly of the Metal scene. Casual listeners of the genre or fans of the more polished latter Bats records will certainly find it hard to swallow this LP.

The album comes across to me more as a message or statement from the band, an attempt to prove you don’t know them as well as you might think. The albums opening track Satellites is false hope for those expecting a continuation from Dead Set On Living, and is easily the albums most accessible track on the album, that uses the sound well known by the band with - a reoccurring theme in metal at the moment, obviously used to make live shows more fun to the fan - chanting shouts in the chorus. When I heard this song as the single I almost gave up hope for the band, but when you hear Searching For Zero in full you quickly realise this track is used to ease the listener in.

What you’ll be mostly receiving during this 30 minute long LP is raw, grimy hardcore punk. Devils Blood and All Hail are where the punk influences shine best; Liam’s vocal chants and screams over the razor-sharp fuzz guitar tones of hard punk riffs are some of the most exciting things I’ve heard from these guys since the Hail Destroyer era. The album isn’t a one trick pony either, trippy elements are hidden in Searching’s 10 tracks, and are drip fed to you during the early stages of the album, but it’s when you get to the last two tracks, Dusted and No More Bull***, where the band really go all out to sound as dirty and unpleasant as possible. Both tracks mix the punishing hardcore punk elements and the doomey slow chucking riffs the band are known for together, while Liam’s vocals cross between screaming roars and reverb covered talking, which create an unpleasant atmosphere. Both tracks push the band to completely new and exciting places for the future.

Overall, this album has reminded me why I loved the Cancer Bats. They were getting quite a name for themselves all around the world as an established hardcore/metal act and have gained a solid following. The band could have continued to create the same sort of records they have been doing, but the move these guys made with this album shows that punk is still very much alive. Make no mistake, while this does sound like a Cancer Bats album it isn’t for the faint hearted. More importantly this is an album that proves the Cancer Bats aren’t afraid to watch their empire burn to the ground so they can build it back up again. And frankly, it doesn’t get more punk than that.



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3.2
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Comments:Add a Comment 
DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
March 10th 2015


15631 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Can't tell you how blown away I am by this record. So friggin good. I hope you guys enjoy it just as much as I did.



As always, constructive criticism welcome.

Digging: Chelsea Wolfe - Birth of Violence

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
March 10th 2015


15631 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Full album stream here.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXEb_0fF8Vw

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
March 10th 2015


15631 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cheers Arcade.



Not blown away, eh? It caught me off guard. I was pretty much done with these guys after Dead Set On Living, but damn did they blow me away with this. Fucking love the production on this.

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
March 10th 2015


14556 Comments


Didnt even know they had a new record coming out, sweet

Good review man, posd

Digging: Prefab Sprout - From Langley Park To Memphis

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
March 10th 2015


15631 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks Mort!



If you're a fan of their early stuff and hardcore punk in general, you'll definitely enjoy this.

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
March 10th 2015


14556 Comments


Yeah ive never heard a full record of theirs but i love their early stuff (the big songs like pneumonia hawk and hail destroyer) so ill defo check this out

Saw them live 2 years ago tho and they were meh

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
March 10th 2015


15631 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awh mate, they killed it when I saw them about 5 year ago. Pneumonia Hawk slays.

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
March 10th 2015


14556 Comments


Hmm yeah thats my fav song by them but they opened with that and i didnt realise it was that song til like a minute in because theyre was so much feedback. Just drowned everything out. Im sure they played spot on and it was proba just the sound guys fault or something

EvoHavok
March 10th 2015


7696 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review, Gonzo! Enjoying the album, the raw punk and stoner/doom mix really shines here.

BigPleb
March 10th 2015


59791 Comments


Damn, this is that good?!

Son of Mr. Pain
March 10th 2015


24853 Comments


To me that summary reads like the album proves that punk is dead.

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
March 10th 2015


15631 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

How is that school?

Gyromania
March 10th 2015


28302 Comments


met these guys at small venue in detroit called the magic stick. really chill dudes - especially the lead singer.

Son of Mr. Pain
March 10th 2015


24853 Comments


Ok, it's better now.

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
March 10th 2015


15631 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cheers evo. And completely agree, it melds together so well.



And yeah pleb it really is that good. Hands down the best thing they've done since hail destroyer. Check it dude!

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
March 10th 2015


15631 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah I met Liam too gyro, super laid back guy, really nice.

BigPleb
March 10th 2015


59791 Comments


Liam is cool yeah.

Satellites didn't get me too stoked but I'll still check this.

JWT155
March 10th 2015


14402 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Really? Spam accounts on Sputnik?

Tunaboy45
March 10th 2015


16784 Comments


Nice review mate, pos

JWT155
March 10th 2015


14402 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm getting a Rob Zombie vibe from some of the vocals on this.



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