Cancer – Death Shall Rise Reissue (Cyclone Empire)Tuesday, 19th August 2014
With Cancer’s discography getting the re-issue treatment, if one album should be the star, it should be Death Shall Rise. Arguably the band’s finest moment, it still retains the British band as sounding completely Floridian (by virtue of a Scott Burns production) but has a few things that edge it out over its predecessor. While it may be a bit predictable and familiar, it’s an enjoyable romp through the past.
Death Shall Rise takes plenty of cues from the big death metal names of the time, namely Death and Obituary, and blends it with some shades of Cannibal Corpse (Eaten Back to Life) and even Sepultura. The distinctive Floridian feel doesn’t help matters in terms of making it stand apart from the rest of the pack, but when you think of the times its clear the reasons why the direction was used. The album opens with its strongest track, the (arguable) classic “Hung, Drawn, and Quartered.” A visceral number with a shout along chorus, Glen Benton himself even got in on the song with some backing vocals. This was also the album that featured James Murphy on guitar, and the step up in the quality riffing department from To the Gory End is quite obvious. The solos in particular are still quite enjoyable to this day, particularly the title track and “Corpse Fire.” This reissue contains two live from 1992 versions of “Hung, Drawn, and Quartered” and “Blood Bath” as an added bonus, which have a decent sound recording to them and a nice little add-on for collectors.
If you only snag one of Cancer’s reissued materials, make it Death Shall Rise. While it never made many waves back in the day and might be a step or two behind the classics such as Leprosy or Slowly We Rot, it still stands up quite well here in 2014, and that should say something of it’s character. With all of the added perks of its recent reissue, this should be investigated for all death metal fanatics, whether you had no previous exposure to the band or a huge fan.