Canadian hardcore metal punks CANCER BATS have just released an animated video for "Gatekeeper". Directed by Stevie Gee and written by Gee and Essy May, who both worked on MASTODON's "Steambreather", the super-awesome '80s-inspired animated short features motorbike-riding ghouls, a sorcerer and the CANCER BATS performing in a crystal ball.
"'Gatekeeper' is one of the best tracks off the new album so I was so stoked to be making a video for it," says Stevie Gee. "I've been wanting to make a goofball violent '80s cartoon for a while so I was super happy to do that for my friends, the CANCER BATS. Hail destroyer!"
Of the video, lead vocalist Liam Joseph Cormier says: "We are way too excited to release one of the greatest videos we have had the pleasure of being connected to. We cannot take any credit for it, Stevie Gee is the creative mastermind behind the whole thing and he drew all of it!!"
Lifted from the CANCER BATS' sixth album, "The Spark That Moves", "the song is about those people we have the misfortune of crossing paths with in our lives, who use lies schemes and deceit to make their way through this world," says Cormier. "Everyone has a choice and its theirs to continue down this path that will never work out for them. They are the gate keepers to their own future."
CANCER BATS surprise-released "The Spark That Moves" on April 20 through the band's own record label Bat Skull Records in partnership with New Damage Records in Canada and the U.S.
"We were just tired of waiting," said Cormier. "We spent all of 2017 working hard on this album, all while playing shows and talking with our fans, who were constantly asking, 'When can we hear new music?' We figured why make anyone wait any longer, let's just drop the entire new album all at once," Cormier enthused. "I know as a fan, I just want to hear everything right away, let me buy the record right now! We figured, why not release our own music the way we want."
On top of releasing all 11 tracks off of their new record, CANCER BATS decided to pull "a bit of a Beyonce" and have dropped a music video for every song on the album.
"The Spark That Moves" track listing:
02. Brightest Days
03. We Run Free
04. Space & Time
05. Bed of Nails
07. Fear Will Kill Us All
09. Can’t Sleep
10. Heads Will Roll
"The Spark That Moves" follows the band's critically successful album "Searching For Zero" (2015), which landed CANCER BATS their fourth Juno Award nomination for Metal/Hard Music Album. Recorded in Winnipeg, Manitoba under the watchful eyes and ears of JP Peters (PROPAGANDHI) at his studio Private Ear and mixed by longtime collaborator and award-winning producer Eric Ratz (producer of "Hail Destroyer", "Bears Mayors Scraps & Bones" and "Dead Set On Living"), "The Spark That Moves" is CANCER BATS at its finest. Combining all of the elements from the band's last five releases, the 11 tracks that make up the album blend together the group's most melodic moments with their most aggressive, becoming a savage sprint of hardcore, punk, sludge, and metal that leaves the listener craving more. Drummer Mike Peters and lead bass player Jaye Schwarzer seamlessly collide together like two wild beasts, while guitarist Scott Middleton blasts his signature layers of squeals and destruction over top. All of this thunderously led by singer Cormier's now fully formed melodic growl as he fires both positive, inspiring lyrics and scorching damnation as displayed on album opener "Gate Keeper". Without skipping a beat, they fire on track 2, "Brightest Days", shifting back to a classic BATS positive party anthem. The record seamlessly keeps this pace of raw, catchy, anthemic, metal and punk. Halfway through it breathes with the melodic standout "Bed Of Nails", a touch of desert rock they add into the mix before diving back into the chaos that is "Head Wound". This pace continues right until the crushing album closer "Winterpeg", an ode to the very city they recorded in, featuring guest vocals from Chris Hannah of the legendary Winnipeg punk band PROPAGANDHI.
Photo credit: Asad Aman