Cancer Bats, or ‘Bat Sabbath’ as they’re fondly called by their loyal followers, have been through it all; excessive touring schedules, family and friend bereavements, band mates up and leaving, fallouts, and any other nitty gritty rock clichés that comes with performing music. It’s with this mentality that they release their self-confessed ‘no more bull shit’ fifth studio album entitled Searching For Zero, and with it their most complete sound to date.
The Canadian band are renowned for their hard work and slavery within the studio, and this can be seen none more so than on album opener Satellites. Fuzz-laden feedback rolls into distorted screams as the melody fades into power-punk rhythms. The track feels like it’s hammering you into submission and preparing you for what’s to follow. Arsenic in TYOTS draws on Black Sabbath rhythms and strong guitar work, whereas Devil Blood uses a lightening pace to make the listener feel as though they’re on a demonic rollercoaster straight to hell.
For all the albums highlights, there are a couple of instances that leave you thinking of older albums rather than the now, and bring forward no new ideas. All Hail is one culprit; seemingly thought of with moshpits in mind rather than to be listened to in album form, the track’s vibrancy is lost on recording, and it’s true live impact is lost through the speakers. This is something the band have not done before, and hopefully just a blip on proceedings.
Before long though the music is back on track with Buds. Metallica is a definite influence here, with its intense beginning and some of the strongest vocals on the record, brining on an essence of the experimental and the rebellious nature that got the band to where they are today. And if you’re looking for a balls out closer, No More Bullshit is there to satisfy, guaranteed to leave you gasping for oxygen and almost smelling the odour of a moshed out crowd.
Searching For Zero is a step in the right direction for the band. Finally feeling settled and rid of their demons, the album caters for old and new, and if you overlook a couple of slips along the way, it’s a decent effort.