If you thought you’d seen the last of 70s metal, think again. Cancer Bats’ previous experience as a cover band has provided them with the confidence to engage with the influence of Black Sabbath and adapt it to their own brand of anger.
With a co-headlining tour with While She Sleeps looming on the horizon, the hotly-anticipated ‘Searching For Zero’ ticks all the boxes fans expected after the storming ‘Dead Set On Living’ . Exploring a myriad of tempos and emotive states relating to a theme of reflection, ‘Searching For Zero’ demonstrates the band’s years of development and experimentation, looking back on the lessons of the last four albums in order to “face annihilation” with the fifth.
Revitalising an unmistakable Black Sabbath vibe with ‘True Zero’ and ‘No More Bullshit’, Cancer Bats tell a foreboding tale of looking back and not liking what you see. Lead anthem ‘Arsenic In The Year Of The Snake’ presents the most reflective and gut-wrenching message, bringing stark reality with the lyrics “too many friends died this year”. From the echoing punk vitality of to the hell-raising venom of ‘All Hail’, ‘Searching For Zero’ explores a myriad of intensities to create an atmosphere that will doubtlessly raise venue roofs.
Reality takes a back seat only briefly. The terrifying opening to ‘Devil’s Blood’ and the surreal ‘Dusted’ soon burst into energetic punk as the album explores a new atmospheric turn. However, the foreboding danger of ‘Beelzebub’ combined with the exuberant anger of ‘Cursed With A Conscience’ further demonstrates the band’s maturity, experimenting with crushing guitars and punchy drums to coincide with their back catalogue of revenge anthems.
Sometimes, there are “too many broken mirrors” to look back through, but ‘Searching For Zero’ gives us every good reason to stick a middle finger up at the past.
’Searching For Zero’ by Cancer Bats is released on 9th March through Noise Church Records.
Words by Ali Cooper (@AliZombie_)