"Death Shall Rise" is the 2nd full-length studio album by UK death metal act Cancer. The album was released through Vinyl Solution/Restless Records in May 1991. As a three-piece Cancer released a relatively succesful debut album in "To the Gory End (1990)", but for the recording of "Death Shall Rise", the band added lead guitarist James Murphy who at the time was known for his work with Death and Obituary. "Death Shall Rise" was recorded at the legendary Morrisound Recording in Tampa, Florida and produced by Scott Burns and Cancer. The album features the unmistakable early 90s "Morrisound" death metal sound.
Compared to the debut album "Death Shall Rise" is a sligtly less raw and relatively more sophisticated death metal album. Of course using the word "sophisticated" is a bit misleading as "Death Shall Rise" is through and through an old school death metal album with simple riffing, simple drumming and intelligible growling vocals. James Murphy lays down a couple of his characteristic melodic solos, but that´s about the most sophisticated thing about the album. The songwriting is also pretty simple and most tracks don´t feature more than a couple of different riffs. The tracks are pretty catchy though and I find myself greatly enjoying tracks like "Hung, Drawn and Quartered" (which features Glen Benton from Deicide on backing vocals), "Tasteless Incest" (love the chorus in this one) and "Back from the Dead". The transitions between sections don´t always work seamlessly and the simple (sometimes bordering clumsy) drumming is a bit of an issue too, but there is definitely something charming about the album.
Cancer lost a slight bit of their savage edge between the debut and "Death Shall Rise", but compositioally they are pretty equal in quality. "Death Shall Rise" is upon conclusion not the most distinct sounding death metal release out there, but it´s a solid and quite enjoyable listen for fans of the genre. A 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating isn´t all wrong.