Australian depressive black metal act Cancer have announced their return with their second full length album, ‘Opioid’.
The record is the follow-up to the band’s 2018 full length, ‘Into The Heartless Silence’, and is set for release on August 14.
The album marks the band’s first self-mixed, self-mastered and self-released title, having chosen to part ways from producers and their previous record label Throats Productions and take full control over the record.
‘Opioid’ was written and recorded by Cancer in late 2019 after its members, who collectively were a part of former Australian black metal outfit Deadspace, toured Europe in March 2019 supporting Psychonaut 4 and Vanhelga.
In August 2019, Deadspace then released another album called ‘The Grand Disillusionment’.
Following the Deadspace tour and album release, Cancer members John Pescod (vocals and production), Dan Jackson (guitars, bass and arrangements) and Chris Gebauer (drums) mutually agreed to take different paths musically.
Pescod and Jackson continued Cancer and writing ‘Opioid’ as a two-piece, while Gebauer as founder of Deadspace released a final album separately before disbanding the group to focus on separate musical endeavours.
According to the two-piece, ‘Opioid’ represents a sonic and thematic shift in Cancer’s take on depressive black metal.
Sonically, the shift takes inspiration from pre-‘loudness war’ musical production of the 1970s and 1980s, as well as soundscapes from various musical influences.
Such influences include second wave black metal bands with atmospheric, progressive and DSBM elements such as Emperor, Dissection, Enslaved and Silencer, mid-90s Swedish melodic death metal such as At The Gates, and an array of 21st century metal and post rock outfits.
Thematically, ‘Opioid’ is an eight-track concept record based on 19th Century English essayist and pioneer of addiction literature, Thomas De Quincey.
Tracks one and two, The Eater and The Dreamer, briefly capture his life in the Victorian era of England, his reasons for living embodied in addiction, and foreshadow his dreams created through addiction that haunted his life consciously and subconsciously.
Tracks three to eight form a six-part piece titled ‘The Depths’; each part detailing one of those many vivid dreams he burdened till death.