You’ll Never Break Us: Separation Sessions Vol. 2
New Damage Records
Following the successful release of last year’s You’ll Never Break Us: Separation Sessions, veteran Canadian metal outfit Cancer Bats have returned with You’ll Never Break Us: Separation Sessions Vol. 2. As a true follow-up to the previous release, Vol. 2 is an EP that adapts and rearranges previous material from the band in an acoustic fashion.
You’ll Never Break Us: Separation Sessions Vol. 2 opens with the retitled, acoustic version of the classic 2008 Cancer Bats track, “Hail Destroyer”. “Hail The Acoustic Destroyer” is not only a stellar rendition of the original, but it also features vocals from none other than Ontario’s very own, Lindsay Schoolcraft. The acoustic track pushes and pulls but soars for the vocal duet between Liam Cormier and Schoolcraft. The harmonies are haunting and, when set in front the acoustic yet heavy instrumentation, feel reminiscent of Alice In Chains. Similarly, the swampy and bluesy tone – thanks to the slide guitar and mandolin – of “Bricks Mandolins And More Tambourine” feels refreshing as Cancer Bats flex their abilities as songwriters to twist, rearrange, and repurpose their previous material into a unique context.
While the opening two tracks could very well be among the strongest of the five songs on You’ll Never Break Us: Separation Sessions Vol. 2, there are a number of moments of pure greatness on the album. The weaving pulse and dissonance of the bridge of “RacousticTS” doubles down on the Alice In Chains influence while digging deep on the dark vibes that the acoustic version of “R.A.T.S.”. Furthermore, “Pneumoniacoustic Hawk” provides an incredible update on “Pneumonia Hawk” with its heavy and dissonant energy.
While You’ll Never Break Us: Separation Sessions Vol. 2 never quite reaches the heights of an MTV Unplugged style release, the album serves as a fitting follow-up to its predecessor. More importantly, You’ll Never Break Us: Separation Sessions Vol. 2 demonstrates the creative versatility of Cancer Bats, proving that they are more than their hardcore roots. At the very least, You’ll Never Break Us: Separation Sessions Vol. 2 is more than enough to leave you excited for what is to come next from Cancer Bats.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: CANCER BATS – YOU’LL NEVER BREAK US: SEPARATION SESSIONS VOL. 2