Canker – Earthquake (2017) REVIEW

Canker’s third album is an unavoidably blunt and forceful death metal album that pays tribute to the thrash influenced era of early 90’s death metal. Pestilence, Massacra and Sepultura should immediately spring to mind as the album’s groove/death jumping off point begins with Canker at their most belligerent. These guys are die hard fans, still inspired by the music that convinced them to be one of the first death metal bands in Spain back in the day. ‘Earthquake’ functions as a relic, a sort of glowing tribute to fast, heavy worship of the riff. While not every part of what made ‘Physical’ great back in 1994 is there anymore, this album is almost directly similar to ‘Exquisites Tenderness’ which functioned as a groove metal influenced death/thrash record. Every track on ‘Earthquake’ appears to function as tribute to a list of death and thrash metal bands of their time, but it still always sounds like Canker despite it being their third album in almost thirty years.

The production is heavy but recorded bare bones and relies on the dynamism of guitar riffs to succeed. If you were to judge this album solely on it’s first 2-3 songs you’d be missing on a pretty sweet, if not entirely inconsistent, death/thrash record. Even if the sound is flat and cheap, the music isn’t insipid or derivative. After the first two tracks fade out some odd Nocturnus style keyboards kick in, a melodic death metal song follows, and begins to resemble a warmer take on ‘Chaos A.D.’ if it were covered by Master or ‘Human’ era Death. ‘Earthquake’ began to impress more with multiple listens though very little about the album is memorable. The experience reminds me of the first Thanatos album where they took influences from different popular extreme metal bands and in doing so absorbed my adoration simply for invoking the familiarity of those groups.

This type of sporadic album from great forgotten underground bands are rarely interesting beyond nostalgia. ‘Earthquake’ doesn’t entirely escape due criticism for being so devoutly old school, but it does make up for it’s blandness with impressive variation beyond the capabilities of most bands that share their sub-genre tags. If given a chance of a full listen, the album turns it out in a satisfying way.


Artist Canker
Type Album
Released September 18, 2017
BUY/LISTEN on their Bandcamp Follow Canker on Facebook
Official Website (Espanol) Canker on Metal-Archives
Death Metal, Thrash Metal

Classicist. 3.0/5.0