Swiss band CANCEL was formed back in 2011, and since the inception they have two EPs and two full length albums to their name. “Dark Reveries” is the most recent of the latter, and was self-released in the spring of 2018.

Cancel describe themselves as a hardcore band, which I guess is fair enough, but when listening to this album I started thinking about what the differences between hardcore, post hardcore and metalcore is, as this is a band that does venture quite a bit outside of the borders of what I associate with a more strict hardcore oriented style.

There are a couple of those hard, blazing, primal cuts here that gets everything said and done in a couple of minutes with riffs, rhythms and shouted, angry vocals competing for being the most dominant detail, but the rest of this production has much more to it.

On one hand we have all the songs that alternates between a more classic hardcore expression and sections with a slower pace, touching base or giving their nods to both thrash metal, groove metal and doom metal along the way. Not unheard of, of course, but this at once does add a bit of a sophisticated sheen to these compositions.

Then there are some cuts hare that takes this a bit further. Harmony guitar solo overlays, atmospheric laden interludes, multiple alterations in pace, intensity and arrangements…kind of applying the structural blueprint from progressive rock to a metalcore context. Which isn’t a bad thing at all, as exemplified on opening cut Mind Burial and also to some degree on the concluding title track Dark Reveries.

While I guess that the hardcore interested audience will remain the main audience for this band, Cancel strikes me as the kind of band that may well have a potential reach beyond that crowd as well. The typical shouted, angry vocals will deter a broader audience somewhat of course, but if hardcore made with a higher degree of sophisticated features sounds like a good thing, this second album by Cancel is clearly worth a check at some point.

My rating: 78/100


Track list:
1. Mind Burial
2. Hysteria
3. Golden Rats
4. Death Cab
5. Poor Man’s Sermon
6. Chased Feelings
7. Freedom On A Cross
8. You’re Everything I’m Not
9. Human Machinery
10. Dark Reveries



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