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Death Shall Rise
(Cyclone Empire Records)

I remember those days of old, when Death Metal rose from its rotten tombs and countless new bands saw the dark of day. Besides the dark stars of this era, there were myriads that were in the second line, who never reached the acclaim they deserved. One of these outfits were CANCER from the United Kingdom, the West Midlands to be more precise. In this area, three young guys formed a unit, influenced by extreme Thrash Metal, early Death Metal and a little bit Grindcore as well, drummer Carl even played bass for grinding pioneers UNSEEN TERROR for a short while. CANCER was chosen as the name for the trio and two demos were recorded, leading to a record deal with Vinyl Solution in 1990, with Restless taking over the oversea duties. Within three years, CANCER released three albums, before getting a major deal and breaking up after an album untypical for the band and too bad to be remembered. So, as much as you should forget about their later stuff, the first three albums will be remembered, not as groundbreaking Death Metal, but as good to very good albums that still can be highly enjoyed these days. Cyclone Empire just gave all three of them  a proper re-release, and especially this one should be appreciated. “Death Shall Rise” was the follow-up to the already well done debut “To The Gory End”, which was not only a pretty early Death Metal release, but also one of those with a nice Thrash Metal edge. For the second album, CANCER decided to let a proven expert do the recording and production. So the trio went overseas to Florida and recorded “Death Shall Rise” with Scott Burns in the famous Morrisound Studios. To complete the Floridian connection, James Murphy of DEATH - and OBITUARY - fame joined the band as second guitar player back then, but left them again the same year. So it is no wonder that “Death Shall Rise” sounds not that much like a British or European Death Metal album, instead it has an affinity to the music of the place it was recorded. And this can't only be seen as a consequence of the production, that has a nice similarity to the job Scott Burns has done for SEPULTURA. Listen to the title track and you know what I mean. But it's also a slight change in the songwriting that has taken place. In comparison to its predecessor, the songs on this album have a little more instrumental parts, giving James Murphy the space to place his tasty leads. Just check 'Back From The Dead', where he offers us some guitars leads of AGENT STEEL quality. In addition, CANCER used a few more slower and grooving parts in the OBITUARY - vein, like in the title track, 'Tasteless Incest', 'Gruesome Tasks' or the lengthy album closer 'Internal Decay' for example. Well, songs like the mentioned, the fine opener 'Hung, Drawn And Quartered' or the fast smasher 'Corpse Fire' may not be in the first line of undying genre classics, but still they are worth listening nowadays. As it is right and proper, this re-release has some bonus material as well. Two extra songs pimp up “Death Shall Rise”, recorded live at the Milwaukee Metalfest in 1992. Both 'Hung, Drawn And Quartered' and 'Blood Bath' (opener of “To The Gory End”) come along in a very good, yet unpolished sound, making them pretty enjoyable. Check out for more about CANCER or check the label:

Thomas Meyer

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