Sound — 8
"RATS!" Spastic and Spontaneous. Electric and Eccentric. Fantastic and Forward. Cancer Bats have dropped "Dead Set On Living" and have continued their in your face attitude about music. The album feels up to the standards of any fan of the band. The entire album has a very raw sound. Banging your head on a door while dancing like your moshing in the middle of a room is normal for a fan of Cancer Bats, and this album will not pay for medical bills. The atmosphere "Dead Set On Living" presents is heavy and friendly to any listener who enjoys metal. Fans who like "Hail Destroyer" will pound viciously to this album. Fans who like "Birthing The Giant" will have socks taken off by this album. Fans of "Bears, Mayors, Scraps And Bones" may like this album, actually they will thoroughly enjoy this Cancer Bats album. The guitars are bright and pound through the album with a mixture of riffs and chunky chugs. The album has a mix of songs that range from thrashy riffs to blastbeat riffs that equally pound the eardrums of any human; make that all mammals, maybe even sharks. This album features the usual squeals and hammer-on pull-off riffs that are now even harmonized. The intro song "R.A.T.S." even features a progressive bluesy riff which was startling and really the led the way for the rest of "Dead Set On Living". Even when the songs are not breaking the sound barrier with speed they are slugging about smudging their grotesque and raw sound all over someone's face. The mixing is spot on and everything clicks with how this album sounds.
Lyrics — 9
Is there ever really a complaint made about Liam Cormier? If there is that person needs to pass and smell the roses. Liam has perfected his range throughout the album. Throughout his grungy speaking of "Rally The Wicked" to the putrefied screams of the entire album. Liam has been consistent throughout the previous three albums and nothing is wrong with this album. The lyrics are much again relating to situations in life or a person who can be a total backwards individual greeding around and stealing whatever is not theirs. Did I mention Liam Cormier is the vocalist?
Overall Impression — 8
Cancer Bats is an energetic overdrive. "Dead Set On Living" is no letdown. The strictly spastic hardcore sound that Cancer Bats strives for is what they achieve. It does not matter if their albums are not changing drastically from year to year. The songs are unique on "Dead Set On Living" and will surely be sanctified at live shows. For new listeners of Cancer Bats, imagine old act Sick Of It All but on some form of steroids that allows for more headbanging. If you do not know Sick Of It All, well Cancer Bats dominated this album anyway.