Formed in 2010, Athens-based thrashers Bio-Cancer are yet another Greek band intent on turning the home of the Gods into the biggest mosh pit Mount Olympus has ever seen. With two albums under their belts, the five-piece struggled with the pandemic lockdowns a few years ago but are finally ready to rain down lightning from above with their latest album Revengeance (Hammerheart Records).
Brandishing a clear anti-police brutality sentiment, opener “Citizen… Down!” begins patiently, quickly gaining pace before unleashing its full pneumatic vitriol in a barrage of riffs, shredding solos, and a cascade of deranged, caustic vocals from frontman Lefteris Hatziandreou. Seriously, if you thought original Exodus singer Paul Baloff sounded unhinged then you ain’t heard nothing yet!
Even with its Melodeath-style riffing and fretboard flailing from guitarists Thanasis Andreou and Stavros Marinos, the slightly more melodic “44 Days in Hell” is still capable of bursting eardrums at a thousand yards, sounding like In Flames having some sort of extreme mental breakdown. ‘Footprints on My Back’ is another exercise in thrashing thuggery, a brutal and wantonly antagonistic assault on the senses that somehow manages to leave space among the tremolo-picked madness for Giannis Lagoutaris to show his chops with some accomplished and surprisingly smooth bass lines.
The title track is a five-minute deluge of pure acidic hate that still allows breathing room for changes of pace and mood while “Dream Merchants” switches between a fast, disciplined groove and desperately trying not to career wildly off the tracks like a derailed locomotive. Drummer Tomek Solomonidis gets worryingly close to losing his arms in a blur of sticks but always manages to regain control, the song’s middle section and guitar solo genuine standout moments on the record.
The vocal attack to “Swiping Life Away” comes at you like a gremlin having a seizure until the riffs slow down for some more quality shredding. The slower parts of “Underdog (Against the Odds)” are the only time the madman-in-your-face vocal approach doesn’t quite work, but more excellent four-string work and some of the fastest riffs on the album quickly compensate for that.
And finally, nothing needs to be said about self-explanatory closer “Bludgeoning Skullcrushing Mayhem” other than to remind you that paracetamol should be placed higher on your next shopping list.
Bands often stand or fall on their vocalists and Bio-Cancer are sure to be judged that way as Hatziandreou screams and spits often completely incomprehensible gibbering absurdity at you for around forty minutes. However, for the most part, that unbalanced, psychotic approach actually works as the riffs and rhythm section also often sound like they’re ready to plunge backwards off the edge of a cliff at any given moment.
Blisteringly fast and utterly demented, Revengeance is easily one of the most memorable thrash releases of the year.
Buy the album here:
7 / 10