Published Mar 06, 2015There's a moment during the song "Devil's Blood" on Searching For Zero where the instruments drop out one by one, until just Mike Peters' snare drum is carrying the beat, at which point the band slams into a devastating half-time groove before ripping through the scream-along main refrain. It's unlike anything Cancer Bats have put to tape in their decade as a band, and perhaps their most adventurous combination of hooky hardcore and stoner metal weirdness. It's also a perfect distillation of why Searching for Zero is such a compelling record and a testament to the band's musical progress: Cancer Bats' most experimental album might also be their catchiest.
Whether mourning the death of friends on tracks like the punchy "Arsenic in the Year of the Snake" or the thrash-metal workout "All Hail" (the latter of which features a chorus of "All hail Oderus" in tribute to the late Gwar bandleader, Dave Brockie), or flirting with screamo-pop on the chorus of opener "Satellites," there's an unyielding energy to the album. Renowned producer Ross Robinson (At the Drive-In, Korn) has both captured the intensity of the band's infectious live show and pushed the members into new sonic territory. Combining this experimentation with their recent mastery of the Black Sabbath catalogue (as Bat Sabbath) leads to some exquisitely sludgy riffage on the choruses of "True Zero" and "Buds" and during the entirety of "Beelzebub." In their search for zero, Cancer Bats have found an ample source of inspiration. (New Damage)