Cancer – Terminal

Rating: 3.5/5
Distributor/Label: Independent
Released: 2016
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Track Listing
  1. Distant Dreams
  2. Hypoglycaemia
  3. Chicanery
  4. To Taste Your Contempt
  5. Anamnesis



Ambient/Depressive Black Metal can be a strange beast. At its best it can reduce a person to a state of rapturous weeping, at its worse it can be rather dull. Thankfully Australian band Cancer’s debut release “Terminal” is more the former. It is a terror inducing, tear rendering hellride.

The album kicks off with “Distant Dreams”; a melange of Burzumic ambience and tortured aggression, augmented by the harpy like howl of the vocals. It is extremely atmospheric and very effective. The band try a slightly different approach with “Hypoglycaemia”, with it’s anthemic, almost punky structure. Sadly it is too short to have much lasting impact.

They change track again with “Chicanary”, an unrelenting facemelter of a song, full of balls-out aggression and deranged dynamics. With “To Taste Your Contempt” the band masterfully showcase their grasp of how to pace an album, a spectral intro gives way to a more stately, slower pace, before exploding into a salvo of savagery.

The album, unfortunately, ends on a disappointing note with “Anamnesis”, which fails to hold the attention, in spite of the band’s attempts to sound a bit more epic.

There is much to like here with this album. The guitar tone is utterly haunting, reminiscent of Blut Aus Nord at their most expansive. The vocals are completely insane, shrill and teetering on the edge of mania. It is not without its flaws, however. My biggest gripe is that the songs are too short. Depressive BM needs time to breathe and mature into something truly fetid and this simply cannot be achieved with songs of under 5 minutes. Nevertheless, this is still a band to watch for sure.

Review by Owen Thompson


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