Album Track Listing
- Ad Nauseum
- Modus Opernadi
- The Sleepless Waltz
- Shell Over Bone
- Wehe Mir
Band Line Up
Shelby Jansen – Bass
Chris Gebauer – Drums
Thomas Major – Guitars
Dan Jackson – Guitars
John Pescod – Vocals
Australian Black Metal tends to be awesomely atmospheric, with the likes of Aquilus, Moon, and Spire ploughing a very ambient furrow. Cancer (not to be confused with the British Death Metal stalwarts) fit neatly into that category, and they do it with real panache. After an extremely promising debut EP in 2016, these Perth natives are poised to unleash their debut full-length album.
This unholy opus begins in pitiless and nightmarish fashion with “Ad Nauseum”, a dark cocktail of aggression and perverse joy. The feral and bass-heavy “Modus Operandi” follows this. A more traditional Black Metal outing, this sparkles with its combination of clean and savage vocals which are not a million miles removed from those utilised by Enslaved. The high standards are maintained with the powerful and emotionally devastating “The Sleepless Waltz”, and the minimalist and passionate “Apherisis”. Swathed in macabre ambience, the band once again use that intoxicating blending of clean and screeched vocals.
The eerie, protracted intro of “Shell Over Bone” soon gives way to a baleful canticle woven through with a constant sense of claustrophobic dread, with the castrated demon vocal performance here is truly berzerk and hysterical, kind of like Varg Vikernes with his scrotum trapped in his flies!
The experience of listening to the vigorous yet restrained “Ouroboros” is like gradually dying from a slow-acting poison, both in body and soul.
As a counter piece, “Abacination” works a treat with its sublime atmosphere and air of impending doom and the warped and negative aura it creates is almost grotesquely elegant. Majestic closer “Wehe Mir” lurches from brutality to a sort of demented pop music and back again.
This is darkly resplendent stuff and is definitely the sound of a band hitting their stride.
There are elements that some may not enjoy, however, for instance, there is a constant jangling discordance throughout which may seem a bit jarring and those spine-tingling clean vocals are sadly underused; these are very minor criticisms. The album is quite draining to listen to as it truly runs the gamut of emotions, but ultimately it is a rewarding experience. Like an iniquitous amalgam of Leviathan and Enslaved and some kind of malevolent pop act, Cancer sound like Satan’s house band. Hell has never seemed so enticing!