Cancervo, II (Electric Valley 2023)

Psychedelic stoner doom metal band Cancervo release their second full-length album, the humbly titled II.

Named after a mountain, Cancervo began in Lombardy, Italy in 2020. They have one previous long-player to their account, the equally unassuming I. This doom trio creates understated and darkly insinuating doom that is heavy by doom standards. There is not a ton of background info floating around about the band, so let’s get right into the music.

“Arera” is minimalistic doom metal with steady percussion and rhythm, haunting vocals, and deliberate lead guitar work in the second half. The musicians are putting it out there and letting the sonic vibrations mow you over. “Herdsman of Grem” has a funeral doom intonation to it. Thinking back, so did the opening song. Indeed, funeral doom is not a bad way to conceptualize the slow, titanic riff construction. The repetition of the primary bars sets the feeling in your bones so that you are better prepared for the forlorn guitar departure in the back half. “The Cult of Armentarga” continues the dirge, while “Devil’s Coffin” is almost speed metal by comparison, with its hop-along bass line. You cannot ignore the ritual elements to this music – it works on you in that chant-like way, a characteristic that sets this music apart from otherwise similar contemporary doom.

Side two has a pair of long songs, “Zambla” and “Zambel’s Goat.” The question of whether they are more closely related to each other than to the other songs in the set is perhaps moot. It is amazing how different an eight- or nine-minute songs can be compared to a five- or six-minute song – the extra couple minutes have a dramatic impact on compositional pacing. Even more than side one, the ritual nature of this music finds its way into more than your ears. The music soaks into you and, particularly on the closing track, entrances. After you hear this second album, listen to the first one … then come back and hear the new one again. You will be hooked. Recommended.

Cancervo’s second album is out now through Electric Valley Records. Check it out at the Bandcamp link below.

Band photo by Beatrice V. Gotti.




Electric Valley Records,

© Wayne Edwards

Cancervo, II (Electric Valley 2023)