Published Apr 19, 2018After an experimental trip into sludgier territory on their last record, Searching for Zero, Toronto metalcore band Cancer Bats have returned to their punk roots. Their sixth studio album, The Spark That Moves, is simultaneously the heaviest and most melodic record the band have ever created, while heavily drawing on the party punk vibes they've built their career on.
The album as a whole comes across like a Cancer Bats record written for Cancer Bats fans. Kicking off with an aggressive start on "Gatekeeper" and "Brightest Day," the band take little time in getting a hard-partying energy established. Songs like "Rattlesnake" or "Headwound" sound like tracks from the band's early days, without coming across as rehashed ideas. Instead of heavily experimenting with their sound, Cancer Bats further develop the things that made them great, while still offering something new, such as the piano intro on "Fear Will Kill Us All."
Vocalist Liam Cormier has become more confident in his various vocal styles than ever before on The Spark That Moves. His harsh screams are even more hostile, yet Cormier dives into the most melodic singing he has done to date. Songs like "Bed Of Nails" and "We Run Free" are prime examples of how the vocalist has finally come to use his clean voice as a primary part of the song instead of taking a backseat to his screams.
The Spark That Moves is a near-perfect offering that stands to show why Cancer Bats have been leading Toronto's heavy music scene. Along with some help from Mobina Galore vocalist Jenna Priestner ("Rattlesnake") and Propagandhi frontman Chris Hannah ("Winterpeg"), Cancer Bats have outdone themselves by pushing their sound and combining elements from across their entire career. (Bat Skull/New Damage)