Review: Cancer Christ ‘God Is Violence’

First out the gate in 2024 are oddball LA outfit Cancer Christ, who aesthetically appear to have borrowed GWAR’s sense of theatricality, but with their own brand of hardcore/crossover added to the mix.

Formed in 2021, the band’s core members comprise of Saint Anthony – lead vocals/flamethrower, Snake Boss – noise guitars/vocals/samples/slime, Piss Snake – bass/vocals/urine, Diesel Snake – shred guitars/sleaze, Apocalypse Snake – drums/cums. God Is Violence marks their debut full-length and follows The Blood Of Jesus and Satan Is A Bitch EPs.

Cancer Christ 'God Is Violence' Artwork
Cancer Christ ‘God Is Violence’ Artwork

Hail Christ Intro starts the album with a religious infomercial but with some cool spooky piano/vocal effects ala Mike Patton peppered in along the way. Do You Wanna Go To Heaven is primetime The Locust and Baptized In Piss And Shit continues the sonic mayhem with guitar histrionics that will leave you positively speechless. It wouldn’t be a hardcore album without the obligatory anti-police track, a tradition that stretches back to Black Flag’s Police Story and which is continued here with God Hates Cops. Flag’s original spirit is present as is the punk metal of Amen, particularly in the vocal department. As someone who enjoyed the latter back in the day, this was an unexpected yet pleasant surprise.

Hail Christ I comes across like a baby Slayer and Bring Back The Guillotine immerses itself deeper into metal with mid-pace Bay Area thrashing ala Exodus. It’s such a fun listen that one could imagine the late, great Paul Baloff banging his head along in approval. Prosperity Preacher is a forty-four second Dillinger Escape Plan thrill ride while Worship Interlude does exactly what it says on the tin, albeit in a fashion that is more Regan MacNeil than Billy Graham.

Nothing is guaranteed to rile evangelicals more than a song with the title Jesus Got A Big ‘Ol Cock; musically more noise-rock orientated, The Jesus Lizard spring to mind here, in terms of a band unafraid of writing and recording a track like this. Fancy some Ringworm? Me too. Tithe Or Die delivers this with a brutal hardcore metal assault that recalls Cleveland’s finest. Outstanding. Hail Christ V is yet another intermission which have by this stage become ubiquitous and God Made Me Do It is vintage Carnivore around the time of Retaliation, parts resembling tracks like Ground Zero Brooklyn.

one could imagine the late, great Paul Baloff banging his head along in approval…

Hail Christ IV follows a similar trajectory to Hail Christ V while God Bless The Rapists with its controversial title has a Venom rawness that makes it an aural delight. I’m no fan of the hokey metal devil horns gesture but this is the ideal track for it. The ten-second Taking Up Serpents is an interesting discordant jazz, blink and you’ll miss it, piece and The Blood Of Jesus is more The Locust type worship with some early Boredoms thrown in along the way. I ain’t complaining.

Satan Is A Bitch is black metal orientated but as if played by S.O.D., meanwhile Hail Christ II is yet another opportunity for the band to exorcise their inner Slayer. Make Them All Dead is yet more thrash goodness with a nice nod to The Jesus Lizard’s Seasick partway through and Saint Anthony’s Sermon concludes the whole affair on a mellower note with a er, sermon that rallies against all the perceived injustices in the world, albeit delivered in the band’s trademark tongue in cheek fashion.

Some may view Cancer Christ with their frankly ludicrous image as a novelty. For me what matters is the quality of the music, and I can safely state that this has been delivered with conviction and power, thus negating any such concerns. Superb.

Label: Seeing Red Records
Band Links: Official | Bandcamp | Spotify | Instagram

Scribed by: Reza Mills