Released: 2014, Cyclone Empire
In the late 80’s, the death metal scene was starting to grow in the US and in Europe. From England we got some great bands like Napalm Death, Carcass, Bolt Thrower, Benediction, and Cancer. Formed in 1987 in Telford, Cancer would go on to release 3 of the greatest and most influential death metal records of all time, TO THE GORY END (1990), DEATH SHALL RISE (1991), and THE SINS OF MANKIND (1993). Sadly, these classics have long been out of print and many of the younger metalheads are not familiar with the legendary Cancer. Cyclone Empire to the rescue! The German label has worked with Cancer to remaster and re-release these albums in August 2014. Who’s ready for some old school brutal shit?!?
If TO THE GORY END put Cancer on the metal map, DEATH SHALL RISE cemented their place in death metal history and made them legends. Recorded at Morrisound Studios in the death metal capital of the US (Tampa, Florida) and produced by Scott Burns, the album has a bit of a Florida (Obituary, Deicide, Death) sound to it, more so than its predecessor or the albums that would follow. It’s a heavier album than GORY and the guitar work is more complex in no small part to the contributions of newcomer James Murphy, who also had stints in Death, Obituary, Disincarnate, and Testament. That said, it still has the Cancer elements of catchy riffs and choruses. Opening track is one of Cancer’s all time best, “Hung, Drawn, and Quartered.” Some of Carl’s best drumming is featured here, thunderous, building speed and ratcheting up the heaviness until John’s tortured vocals kick in. John’s voice is deeper on this album than any other Cancer album and it adds to the overall brutality. The chorus is fucking feral and none other than Glen Benton (Deicide) lends his inhuman vocals to it! Other standout tracks include “Tasteless Incest” (savage, sick – THE YOUNGER ONES FIRST!), “Burning Casket” (MY TESTIMONY TO BE BURNED ALIVE!), “Back From the Dead” (slower and bludgeoning), “Corpse Fire”, “Gruesome Tasks” (killer riffs) and the title track, which features a great solo by Murphy and a cool deathy groove. Bonus tracks are live cuts taken from the 1992 Milwaukee Metal Fest, “Hung, Drawn, and Quartered” and “Blood Bath”. Sound quality is great and these are a great insight on how powerful the band is live, I’ve seen ‘em twice and these are a good representation of their live sound. These live tracks were originally part of the LIVE DEATH compilation that was released in 1994 on Restless Records.
Cyclone Empire has done a helluva job on this! All of the songs sound the same as before, just louder and crisper. Artwork has been faithfully restored; lyrics are included with some vintage pics and new liner notes.
This is a must own for all fans of extreme metal. Pick up a copy and be prepared to be sliced through the torso and ripped apart!