Since first turning heads with 2006’s Birthing The Giant, the Cancer Bats (lead vocalist Liam Cormier, drummer Mike Peters, bassist Jaye Schwarzer, and guitarist Scott Middleton) have seen both their audience and array of influences steadily expand in new directions, and Dead Set On Living is the culmination of the latter. The release brings yet another dimension to the Bats’ menacing style of thrash-tinged hardcore rock, but fear not – the very core of what the band does best is here, and here in a big way. DSOL is undeniably the most metal-tinged offering from Cancer Bats to date. Tracks like “R.A.T.S.” (featuring guest vocals from Rob Urbinati of Sacrifice) and “The Void” are laced with the gritty, sludgy groove that first emerged on cuts from 2008’s Hail Destroyer and was refined on parts of 2010’s Bears, Mayors, Scraps & Bones, while the blistering “Old Blood” roars with the riot-inducing speed and aggression so familiar to the band’s fans. Still, whereas Bears had a much darker tinge, DSOL strikes a tighter balance between the opposing forces and brings listeners closer to the light at the end of the tunnel by encouraging them to push through peril.