As our celebration of metal moves into its last decade it’s harder to identify bands and albums with long lasting impact, so we’re focusing on great albums and up and coming artists doing great things. Hence we’re looking at Canada’s greatest heavy export this year.
Cancer Bats- Bears, Mayors, Scraps & Bones
Words by Matthew Brooks
Hardcore has become more and more intertwined with metal as the years have gone on, as shown by the increased coverage of that scene in 50 years of metal thus far. While less outright metallic than Converge and Hatebreed, who we’ve already covered, Cancer Bats released a run of four albums in the late 00s and early 10s all of which qualify as some of the best hardcore albums since the millennium and possibly of all time. Bears, Mayors, Scraps & Bones is the third of these releases, it’s not as iconic as it’s predecessor- Hail Destroyer- and less metallic than its follow up- Dead Set On Living. Regardless of that BMSB is still undeniably brilliant. It has the core components of Cancer Bats sounds, built around scrappy, fast paced hardcore, with Liam Cormier’s immediately distinctive, high pitched screams on top. As always, the respect the band hold for Black Sabbath shines through in the riffing, with slower songs like Raised Right basking in doomy, stoner-esque glory. Scared to Death was one of the first hardcore songs this writer ever heard, and it still stands up today as an incredible anthem. Trust No One rattles along with incredible pace and encapsulates the energy that all the best hardcore bands can inject into their music. It’s an album without a single bad track on it, but it’s all bought to a close with Sabotage- a cover of the Beastie Boys classic- which stands not only as a defining anthem for Cancer Bats career but the best rock cover of a non-rock song. Bears, Mayors, Scraps & Bones deserves as much attention and love as the greatest albums of all time, because it’s certainly up their with the best of them.