Dead Set on Living

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Dead Set on Living
Cancer Bats - Dead Set on Living cover.jpg
Studio album by Cancer Bats
Released April 16, 2012 (2012-04-16)
Genre Hardcore punk, metalcore, sludge metal
Length 38:50
Label Distort
Producer Eric Ratz, Kenny Luong
Cancer Bats chronology
Bears, Mayors, Scraps & Bones
Dead Set on Living
Bat Sabbath
Singles from Dead Set on Living
  1. "Old Blood"
    Released: February 6, 2012
  2. "Road Sick"
    Released: February 19, 2012
  3. "R.A.T.S"
    Released: August 17, 2012

Dead Set on Living is the fourth studio album by the Canadian hardcore punk band Cancer Bats. It was released on April 16, 2012 through Hassle Records in Europe, April 17 through Distort Entertainment in Canada, April 20 through Shock Records in Australia and New Zealand, and April 23 through Metal Blade Records in the United States. The album was recorded in December 2011.[1] In December 2011, Liam Cormier was asked about whether the groups sound has change much. "I think sound-wise there's definitely more of the natural evolution of how gnarly we keep getting and how more refined everyone sounds. I'd say the majority of our fans now have seen our band live and know how gnarly and ferocious it is, so trying to compress that into a recording still is kind of difficult. Like we'd say 'I thought we did it pretty well on Bears', and then we'd re-examine it and see there's still some elements that are missing."[2]

The band's influences steered away from the "traditional hardcore record" and took a wide variety of influences from indie rock bands like Fleet Foxes. Cormier, when asked about his influences, stated: "In a lot of ways we get really inspired by non-metal bands. For me, I find I really like looking at other things because I just don't want to make a traditional hardcore record lyrically. So for me, I listen to a lot of indie rock and I've been getting super psyched on a lot of that, like the new Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes".[3]

Release and promotion[edit]

The album was initially promoted by an album teaser made by the band in December 2011, revealing that it was planned for an April 2012 release.[4]

The first single planning to support its release "Old Blood" being released.[5] A music video was released for "Old Blood" and was played on Scuzz weeks before release online.[6] On 24 January, Distort Entertainment released the video for the single online.[7] On March 7, 2012 Cancer Bats released a second music video in promotion of the album for the song Road Sick.[8] On April 10, 2012 Cancer Bats uploaded the second track Bricks and Mortar onto YouTube to stream.[9]

Cancer Bats will start the touring cycle for Dead Set on Living with six performances in one day in London, England on April 21, 2012. The venue locations for the mini-tour, dubbed the Pentagram Tour, form a pentagram shape when seen on a map. About the unique structure of the tour, Cormier said, "We've already done three shows in 24 hours—that's now old hat," and that "it's funny that no-one has done this before."[10] All six shows sold out within a week of going on sale.[11] Hassle Records used social media outlets like Twitter to consolidate band and fan interviews and bootleg footage from the tour.[12]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (75/100)[13]
Review scores
Source Rating
AbsolutePunk (76%) [14]
BBC Music (unfavourable)[15]
Big Cheese (4/5)[16]
The Fly 4/5 stars[17]
Metal Storm 8.7/10 stars[18]
New Musical Express (7/10)[19]

Dead Set on Living received generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 75, based on 9 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews"[13]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Liam Cormier, Scott Middleton, Mike Peters and Jaye R. Schwarzer.

No. Title Length
1. "RATS" (featuring Rob Urbinati) 4:08
2. "Bricks and Mortar" 3:45
3. "Road Sick" 2:51
4. "Breathe Armageddon" 3:47
5. "Dead Set on Living" (featuring Matty Matheson) 3:06
6. "The Void" 4:24
7. "Old Blood" 2:48
8. "Drunken Physics" 4:08
9. "Bastards" (featuring Dez Fafara and Kate Cooper) 3:25
10. "Rally the Wicked" 2:22
11. "New World Alliance" 4:06
Total length: 38:50


Cancer Bats
Additional personnel
  • Eric Ratz – production
  • Kenny Luong – production

Release history[edit]

Country Date Label Format Catalog number Source
Europe April 16, 2012 Hassle Records CD
Vinyl record
HOFF144 [22]
Canada April 17, 2012 Distort Entertainment DE33 [7]
United States April 24, 2012 Metal Blade Records 150952 [23]


  1. ^ "Cancer Bats at Sonisphere: 'We're ready to party on our new album'". New Musical Express. July 10, 2011. Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  2. ^ Vince Neilstein (March 24, 2010). "INTERVIEW: Cancer Bats «". Blare Magazine. Retrieved February 11, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Cancer Bats: 'Fleet Foxes have inspired our new album'". New Musical Express. December 1, 2011. Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Cancer Bats Announce New Album". Rock Sound. December 14, 2011. Retrieved January 24, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Cancer Bats to play six London shows in one day". New Musical Express. January 4, 2012. Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  6. ^ "New CANCER BATS Album Info". Scene But Not Herd. January 4, 2012. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "DISTORT: NEWS Cancer Bats release video for lead single "Old Blood"". Distort Entertainment. 24 January 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  8. ^ Merlin (March 8, 2012). "Cancer Bats Release 'Road Sick' Video". Metal Hammer. Retrieved March 25, 2012. 
  9. ^ Merlin (April 10, 2012). "Exclusive new Cancer Bats track - listen now". Download Festival. Retrieved April 21, 2012. [permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "Cancer Bats to play six London shows on April 21". Kerrang!. January 2012. Archived from the original on February 7, 2012. Retrieved January 29, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Cancer Bats Are Dead Set On Living". KNAC. January 27, 2012. Archived from the original on April 19, 2012. Retrieved January 29, 2012. 
  12. ^ Katie P (April 20, 2012). "Cancer Bats' Pentagram London tour will take place tomorrow!". Kerrang!. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved April 21, 2012. 
  13. ^ a b "Dead Set on Living Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More". Metacritic. Retrieved June 9, 2012. 
  14. ^ Okorley, Dre (April 14, 2012). "Cancer Bats - Dead Set On Living". AbsolutePunk. Retrieved April 23, 2012. 
  15. ^ Lawrence, Alistair (April 10, 2012). "Canadian metal-punks deliver highs and lows on their fourth album.". BBC Music. Retrieved April 13, 2012. Dead Set on Living is an album that provides a bumpy ride for anyone who hunkers down for its duration. Cancer Bats haven’t lost their swagger or even their appeal, but this is uneasy listening in every sense. 
  16. ^ Hagen, Paul (April 16, 2012). "Cancer Bats - Dead Set On Living". Big Cheese. Retrieved April 21, 2012. 
  17. ^ Glass, Matt (April 13, 2012). "Cancer Bats / New Album Reviews". The Fly. Retrieved April 21, 2012. 
  18. ^ Godin, Doc (April 10, 2012). "Cancer Bats - Dead Set On Living review". Metal Storm. Retrieved April 13, 2012. 
  19. ^ Rowe, Sian (April 13, 2012). "Cancer Bats - 'Dead Set On Living' Balls-out, riot-inducing metal madness". New Musical Express. 
  20. ^ "Cancer Bats Release "Wolf Clan" As Digital Download In Canada". ThePRP. 17 July 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  21. ^ "Cancer Bats Re-issue DSOL with bonus track and Bat Sabbath studio versions". Team Distort. 
  22. ^ "Cancer Bats Detail 'Dead Set On Living' Tracklist And Release Date". Rock Sound. 24 January 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  23. ^ "Cancer Bats: New Album Details Revealed". Roadrunner Records. January 26, 2012. Retrieved January 26, 2012. [permanent dead link]