Cancer - To The Gory End

This is an exciting time to be a Death Metal fan. Well of a certain age at least. Cancer have always been a footnote in Death Metal history. Maybe not quite as essential as Morbid Angel or Cannibal Corpse for example but "Essential" is a term used when talking about introducing a genre or band. "These are essential to begin with.." But for those of us who tried the essentials decided we liked what we heard and dug a little deeper, then decided we were in for the long haul and dug deeper still Cancer were an Enigma in Death Metal "Death Shall Rise" was an unsung Death Metal classic with amazing artwork produced by Scott Burns and what? it's out of print!? To the Gory End is prefered by purist's and looks even cooler with it's Dawn of the Dead artwork and if you could get a t-shirt whoo! but wait you can only get it on ebay for £100! fuck this!

If there is one good thing about the download craze or whole album being put up on youtube for free it was that collector's could hear rare albums without bankrupting yourself. Well now the first 3 Cancer albums are to be re-issued with bonus tracks, liner notes and the trimmings and they are (roughly) a tenner each! rejoice! now lets get on with them...

To The Gory End was released in 1990. An exciting year in death metal. At this point Death Metal was not quite in full swing but gaining momentum. Death had released Spiritual Healing, Cannibal Corpse had released their debut but Mark "Barney"Greenway hadn't joined Naplam Death yet! To the gory end fits well into that time it had the brutality and uglyness of all Death Metal releases but had that earthy, grey dirty feeling of the early days. It was actually produced by Scott Burns, I'm not sure if Cancer were the first British band to work with him but they were certainly in the first batch. Starting with a sample of a man screaming and kicking straight into "Blood Bath" a double drum onslaught with a mid paced riffing over the top. LEading to "CFC" with it's "Cancer fucking cancer" chorus. yes of course it had gore and slasher lyrics. everyone has an opinion I say enjoy them or ignore them! "Witch Hunt" has one of the more memorable lead melodies and shrieking solo's this track is a classic. I love "Imminent Catasrophy" with it's thrashy chorus and doom laden verse. I love when it goes into that slow break. Again taking into account the time this was released name me a Death Metal vocalist who sounds better then John Walker! Chris Barnes hadn't yet perfected the Death Metal growl! John Walker sounds inhuman on here. When you hear this just look up album released the same year and you'll see. The title track is just as much a classic as any other metal track you can think of it's awesome! this is the one track where they have a clean melody during the chorus and it adds to the daunting feel of the song, it actually gives off this feeling of impening doom. Finishing with "Die, Die" with backing vocals from John Tardy of Obituary. Another slow doomy trrack which builds up to a thrashy chorus. I love how it finishes with one last scream from both vocalist's the band come to a crashing finish like they would during a live set and the whole thing is backed up by keyboards and it sounds immence! We are then treated to 2 bonus demo's of tracks from their demo that didn't make the album which are a worthwhile addition.

Each track bleed's into the next track it plays like a tight live set. Just as one song comes to an end it leads straight into the next song. It sounds like a classic Death Metal album with that distinctive sound where you know it's early in Death Metal's evolution. The bands were more concerned with atmosphere and heaviness then playing a million miles an hour for the sake of it. It's just as good as any other debut you'd care to mention. It's aged like a fine wine. it's definitely worth checking out and adding to your collection.

  1. Blood Bath
  2. CFC
  3. Witch Hunt
  4. Into The Acid
  5. Imminent Catastrophy
  6. To The Gory End
  7. Body Count
  8. Sentenced
  9. Die Die
  10. Our Fate (demo)
  11. Revenged (demo)