I'm calling this one fundamentally solid with room to play, and I'd really like to hear more from CANCERVO in the future.
July 8, 2024

CANCERVO's “III” is a delightfully creepy doom album from Italy. Notes of BLACK TOMB intertwine with vocals somewhat reminiscent, intentionally or not, of RAMMSTEIN, of all things, creating a foundation ripe for exploration and experimentation. The first track, “Intro”, is an organ piece reminiscent of a Catholic mass. This is certainly not the first or last doom album to open with an organ, but it’s quite well done and, at about two minutes long, doesn’t overstay its welcome. It subtly flits from soaring and angelic to ominous, which is definitely a nice touch.

The trip truly begins with “Sacreligious Mass.” I am immediately grabbed by its fuzzy, riffy goodness. A low, chanting voice narrates and slow drums drive us ploddingly forward. A lead that reminds me strangely of straight up heavy metal kicks in and makes the head spin a little; it's a bit of a juxtaposition but I personally dig it. “Burn Your Child” features an earth-shattering scream, which is repeated just once more, during the same song, and is never spoken of again. If that scream is coming from the same vocal cords as that low chanting, it shows tremendous range that should definitely be delved into more. The lyrics move from “burn your child” to “burn your wife” like some diabolical version of the nursery rhyme “Farmer in the Dell” and a high, oddly SLAYER-esque lead plays us out.

“St. Barnabas” is a long one at nine minutes. The feedback-laden intro is an attention grabber and the main riff has been stuck in my head all day. It does repeat itself quite a bit even for doom metal and gets stuck in something of a rut at times. However, the overlapping vocals at the end are really cool. “Red Pig” is possibly the most 70's-sounding tune here and features my favorite riff and solo of the album. It also contains a breathless, ominous hush mid-song that's a welcome change of pace.

On the whole “III” is not, and does not purport to be, groundbreaking or fancy. It is straight up spooky stoner doom dedicated to the band's home and local lore, albeit with some leads that come out of left field. The unholy riffs really set the tone for the whole experience and each song had me unconsciously swaying or bobbing my head.  While the vocals aren’t my personal cup of tea, they are undeniably unique and I do respect the choice to make a mark and go low, gravelly, and growly over the usual high and clean or harsher voices that the genre usually leans toward. Each song starts out very strong but has a tendency to get a bit repetitive. A certain amount of repetition is obviously expected from doom, but we do get a little unfocused. I am a big fan, though, of the thrashy and heavy metal solos over doomy riffs. I'm calling this one fundamentally solid with room to play, and I'd really like to hear more from CANCERVO in the future.


7 / 10









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"III" Track-listing:

1. Intro

2. Sacreligious Mass

3. Burn Your Child

4. St. Barnabas

5. Red Pig

Cancervo Lineup:

Fido - Organ

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