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Classic Review: Cancer - Death Shall Rise
Death Shall Rise

Label: Vinyl Solutions
Year released: 1991
Duration: 36:02
Tracks: 8
Genre: Death/Thrash


Review online: February 5, 2007
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.19/5 (83.81%) (21 Votes)

Here we have one of best Death Metal bands to ever hail from my home nation. Cancer started out in Telford, Shropshire way back in 1987, releasing two excellent albums in quick succession a few years later (Death Shall Rise being the second of the two, with the band's debut 'To the Gory End' being equally as essential). After these two gems, Cancer knocked out a couple of duff albums, split, re-formed, and knocked out a pretty average album, before splitting again last year.

Anyhow, despite their fall from grace, Cancer were a killer band in their heyday. This album is particularly immense as it features a certain James Murphy on lead guitars (James re-located to the U.K for a short period after he left Death), so it features a fair bit of Spiritual Healing styled melodic technical guitar solos which fits right in over the Bolt Thrower-esque thrashy death riffage this album is so ridden with. The production is spot on for its time, and upon hearing it, you wouldn't need me to tell you that it was recorded by Scott Burns in Morrisound studios, with the guitars pushed to the forefront allowing the killer thrashy old school death metal to flow freely and clearly (as well as wiping a huge Floridian death metal sheen over the whole product).

As hard as it may be to believe from a band that many of you may not have heard of, there's not a weak moment to be found on this album. However there are many highlights (the opening track in particular is incredible, as well as the frenetic title track, the Slayer-esque evolving into prime Leprosy styled abomination of 'Back from the Dead'… I could go on, but you get the idea). Also, as a side note, Glen Benton lent his vocal abilities to opener 'Hung, Drawn and Quartered', although if you weren't to know this while listening, his usually distinctive vocals are not blatantly noticeable. Speaking of the vocals, although they're gruff and throaty in the usual death metal style, all words are well enunciated so you can actually understand most of the gory tales of torture and perversion without referring to the booklet, similarly again to the vocals of earlier Bolt Thrower.

If you're a huge fan of the earlier death metal bands, especially those that started out on the Roadrunner roster, you'll love this. It's an essential album to plug a gaping gap in the collection of those that proclaim a love of rhythmic, thrashy death metal.

More about Cancer...
Review: Shadow Gripped (reviewed by Bruno Medeiros)
Review: Spirit in Flames (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
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