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'Dead Set On Living'
(Hassle Records)

Phil Kane

phil kane

cancer bast dead set on living

This sounds massive and if you like your rock loud as fuck then Cancer Bats and 'Dead Set On Living' will probably spin your wheels right off. The band mixes the traditional sound of Heavy Metal with the groove of the likes of Down and Pantera. A recent stint doing a Black Sabbath tribute thing may also be responsible for slowing things down a bit giving 'Dead Set On Living' a big bass heavy, dirty, groovy sound that could easily loosen your Granny's two week old faecal plug.

Seemingly re-working their last album, Cancer Bats have gone for the don't-fix-what-ain't-broke approach. Sticking to their tried and tested formula there are no poor tracks, everything being good and solid with ripples of dissonance running throughout giving the album a bit of extra tension.

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So for existing fans, the band's new stuff will have the cosy familiarity of a favourite easy chair albeit with a spring threatening to pop through the stuffing. Proclaiming 2012 to be the 'year of the riff' Toronto's Cancer Bats have unleashed 'Dead Set On Living' to prove the point in no uncertain terms.

What lets the album down is that it all sounds a little samey and comes across as no more than the impotent bluster and blow of an angry youth that is as mad as hell about the unfairness of everything. This seems to be due to the vocals more than anything else as they get tiresomely screamy which is a shame because on the rare occasion when they are done clean they pack a lot more punch.

Front man Liam Cormier roars with righteous rage at life's shortcomings but rather than sounding like some sort of clarion call, it all comes across as no more than the ineffectual ranting of a tiny cog in the huge corporate wheel of life.

As a fully paid up member of the farty army I already know life's a bitch. I know the Yankee dollar screams too loud, I know no one gives a fuck and I know how it feels to have the repo man take my car and for my ma to keep ironing creases in my jeans, I just don't need someone screaming incoherently in my ear about it.

Despite it kicking you in the nuts and battering you around the head, this new album offers nothing particularly new and will probably rely more on the patronage of existing fans. It simply does not have a good enough reason for someone to just take a punt.

'Dead Set On Living' picks up where the last album left off but instead of running onwards and upwards it runs on the spot. Cancer Bats manage to retain their swagger and grunt but for those who have not come across the band before, 'Dead Set On Living' might not be the best way to get acquainted.




Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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