Released: 2006, Copro Records
Here we are with Cancer’s latest release, SPIRIT IN FLAMES. This is their first full-length release since 1995’s BLACK FAITH and some are saying SPIRIT IN FLAMES is their best album to date.
Cancer is first and foremost an “old school” death metal band. Their first album was released in 1990, so Cancer has been around the block more than a few times. SPIRIT IN FLAMES is more experimental than their previous releases of the ‘90’s with a mid-paced style throughout. This is not quite the style of death metal I prefer and doesn’t compare to the death metal of today.
Lead vocalist/guitarist, John Walker’s, style of singing is what I like most about Cancer. It is not guttural by any means and you can actually understand what he is saying. His vocals are highlighted on “Insides Out,” “Hell House” and the title track.
Guitar duties are handled by both Walker and lead guitarist David Leitch. The riffs on SPIRIT IN FLAMES are rather catchy and showcase an up-to-date Cancer. There is a slower-paced thrash style to the guitar work that gets a bit repetitive after a few songs. Leitch’s solos are slightly generic and didn’t do all that much for me. They should have hired James Murphy to do the solos again! Drummer Carl Stokes follows along very well with the music, yet was also very boring. His conservative style works well with the music but does nothing too exciting.
I wasn’t anticipating this album so its boring nature wasn’t much of a disappointment. If you like Cancer’s previous material, you’re sure to like this. If you look for incredible musicianship and technical mastery, you won’t find it here. However, I will give these guys credit for the comeback.
KILLER KUTS: Insides Out, Hell House, Spirit In Flames