ALBUM REVIEW: Cancer Bats – The Spark That Moves

Cancer Bats have always been known for doing things outside of the box and they’ve done just that by dropping their brand new album The Spark That Moves without prior warning, surprising fans across the globe with the follow up to 2015’s Searching For Zero. As frontman Liam Cormier says himself: “I know as a fan, I just want to hear everything right away, let me buy the record right now! We figured, why not release our own music the way we want.”

Released on their own label Bat Skull Records, The Spark That Moves is a record from a band with complete control and 11 tracks that combine elements from their entire back-catalogue. Returning to work with producer Eric Ratz (who they worked with on Hail Destroyer, Bears Mayors Scraps & Bones and Dead Set On Living) and with a completely different approach to recording, the album feels fresh and focused, yet showcases a band who are truly at home.

The quartet kick off proceedings with Gatekeeper, a track with grooves and a raw energy that remind us just how much we love – and how much we’ve missed – Cancer Bats. The hardcore elements come through on Brightest Day, still not losing the melody that the band combine so effortlessly with those explosive heavier elements. Liam Cormier shows real diversity in his vocals, particularly on the likes of We Run Free, where he makes transitions between growls and cleaner vocals that drive through the melody. Guitarist Scott Middleton takes centre stage with scorching guitar solos in several tracks on the record, notably We Run Free and Bed Of Nails, adding even more layers to an already in-depth record. Headwound will no doubt induce mosh pits if included in the band’s live set, whilst Fear Will Kill Us All introduces unexpected keys before returning to the band’s signature raw energy. Can’t Sleep is one of the party anthems on the record, featuring key vocal moments that will encourage mass singalongs and Winterpeg – an ode to Winnipeg where the album was recorded – features a guest performance from Propagandhi vocalist Chris Hannah – a nice final touch to the record.

The Spark That Moves was a very welcomed surprise and with another remarkable album under their belts, it’s awesome to see Cancer Bats are back and doing things exactly the way they want.


Standout Tracks: We Run Free, Bed Of Nails, Headwound

For Fans Of: Every Time I Die, Comeback Kid

Written by: Hannah Gillicker

A 20-something year old journalist and freelance PR often found at a gig, a festival or holding a dictophone to a band and asking them all kinds of questions. I'm a sucker for whiskey and vinyl.