Cancer – Spirit In Flames 2005 – 43%

This is a pretty odd album. In the early 90s, Cancer was a British death metal band to be reckoned with. They had it all. Fast riffs. Fast drums. Heavy death vocals. Then they took a step into a weird little void that they created for themselves. In 1995, they released Black Faith, which was nothing at all like their previous death metal albums. It was slower, more spacey, and featured clean vocals. They broke up shortly after that. Fast forward to 2005, and here is a reformed Cancer ready to take on the death metal world once again….right?


This album is essentially a mixture of both previous styles of Cancer, and it flops horribly. There are a couple above average songs, but even these don’t hold a candle to anything from the first 4 albums. Mindless Reactions uses a bunch of stop start mid-paced riffage, before going into more thrashy territory. The vocals are pretty bad. He has a slight gruff in his voice, but he’s essentially just a British bloke not putting any heart or aggression into his performance. When the band breaks out of their stupid little mid-paced fever, they can thrive. There’s a bit of double bass thrown in here and there, which helps the music greatly. Most of the time though, the drums are simply progressively banging about pointlessly below the riffs.

The riffs all have a slight aura surrounding them. It’s not a very good aura though. The progressive drum patterns mixed with the not as progressive riffing leaves a bit of a bitter taste in one’s musical taste buds. This shows up pretty big in Hell House. This song is completely stupid. Heeelllll Houuuuuuse…… will somebody get this guy a fucking energy drink or something? I think he’s falling asleep…

Some songs that deliver in being halfway rad are Devil’s Playground and Ouija. The progressive drumming patterns actually work in the band’s favor on these tunes. Only until about halfway through Devil’s Playground do they fuck it up. They decide to fuck around again with this stupid gay melodic part that only takes away from the riffage. Ouija also has its fair share of stupid mid-paced crap that goes nowhere. Like I said, the best songs on this album still pretty much suck.

Oh, and Seance is groove metal with jazz drumming. Who are these fuckers trying to fool, anyways?

Cancer alienated me with this release. Whoever came up with the idea to try and marry the sounds of death metal Cancer and avant-garde Cancer should be fired. Then again, as these guys have been laid to rest once again, it doesn’t matter. It just sucks that a band with such a great back catalog will leave the world with an album like this.


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