AlbumsNovember 29, 20118,997 views

The Cancer Conspiracy Omega

01. i 02. ii 03. iii 04. iv 05. v 06. vi 07. vii 08. viii
2008 Radar Recordings, Gilead Media
Our score 8

by Nick

Before the indie music scene was saturated with post-rock clones there was a Vermont threesome by the name of The Cancer Conspiracy. Best known for their 2002 release of The Audio Medium, these guys pushed the limits of instrumental music as they seamlessly blended many a rock prefix (prog, noise, math, etc.) to create unpredictable yet melodic soundscapes. Originally recorded as the follow-up to The Audio Medium, Omega has been incubating in musical purgatory, waiting for the proper legal agreements to set it free from the band's past label, Big Wheel Recreation. But the wait is over, and although the band has been defunct since late 2003, this excellent slab of prog-instrumental rock is finally seeing a proper release, jointly through Radar Recordings and Gilead Media. It's kind of an interesting task to go about describing The Cancer Conspiracy. Current comparisons feel quite irrelevant, as this recording preceded much of today's popular instrumental music. So sure, some of the more ambient parts have a Red Sparowes feel and some layered guitar work could be likened to that of Russian Circles, but let's not forget that it's in fact the other way around. If anything, it's The Cancer Conspiracy's combination of Rush-like progressive compositions and noisy, cathartic climaxes reminiscent of Drive Like Jehu that give Omega such a unique feel. "i" flirts with the avant-garde edge as it opens the disc with layers of ambience accompanied with a lead saxophone line. "ii" locks the record into gear with its driving, syncopated bass lines and angular guitar outbursts. "vii" excels on a foundation of slow but inventive drumming and an abundance of beautifully warm guitar melodies. And when combined, Omega's eight tracks provide nearly forty minutes of some of the best arranged instrumental rock available (either currently or in the past). Fans of progressive music will have little difficulty embracing The Cancer Conspiracy. The band's ability to incorporate mathy rhythms while maintaining a memorable, melodic feel sets them apart from countless bands of many genres. Technical prowess is certainly an anchor in progressive music, but the most successful groups are those who never lose sight of the importance of songwriting. And when The Cancer Conspiracy effortlessly moves between textured ambience, noisy swells, and rhythms that turn on a dime, one thing is obvious: this is the definition of creative instrumental rock. Bottom Line: Listeners finding themselves into the influx of instrumental music in today's indie and metal scenes should not hesitate in grabbing a copy of The Cancer Conspiracy's Omega. Although the record was released posthumously, their mixture of syncopated rhythms, warm guitar work, and inventive songwriting should not be forgotten.


Post Comment
Devin_ 5/12/2008 11:09:05 AM

This is an outstanding record. Great review, Nick!

odnetnin_ 5/12/2008 11:10:30 AM

One of my favorites for this year.

adam_oshkosh_ 5/12/2008 12:05:53 PM

Thanks for the great review, Nick. - Adam@gilead

chadster_ 5/12/2008 12:14:33 PM

Great review/album/band/label

shit balls_ 5/12/2008 12:48:12 PM

your rating never seems to match what your words say

anonymous 5/12/2008 1:08:39 PM

an 8/10 is a great score. the review is full of praise. what's the issue?

hotaction_ 5/12/2008 2:27:36 PM

these guys were great back in the day. glad to see they got this out.

YouAreSceneAsFuck_ 5/12/2008 2:57:48 PM

Good review you sonofabitch.

penn_ 5/12/2008 6:33:41 PM

great review from a great gay! *has a noisy, cathartic climax*

MarginError_ 5/12/2008 10:33:49 PM

Great album from a great band. Definitely broke up way too early and put out way too small of a catalog.

Fur_Beach_ 5/13/2008 2:06:37 AM

stopped reading immediately after first sentence. No care about post-rock-indie-instrumental whatever.

MarginError_ 5/13/2008 7:27:02 AM

Album of the week FTW, Fur Beach FTL

jamiecta_ 5/13/2008 8:13:14 AM

very solid album. a bit refreshing compared to some other new releases that have disappointed lately

inkstink_ 5/14/2008 1:02:27 PM

god damn right

Ca_ 5/15/2008 12:30:45 AM

I agree with you on favorite track. Such a sick f*cking song.

ThisAintSweetTea_ 5/15/2008 6:32:55 PM

Track Listing: 01. i 02. ii 03. iii 04. iv 05. v 06. vi 07. vii 08. viii Completely f*ck off with that.

xdustinx_ 5/16/2008 9:40:54 AM

Solid band. Can't wait to hear this record.

bensy_ 5/16/2008 1:41:40 PM


theoneironaut_ 5/18/2008 1:29:11 PM

this album/band/label is great.

yousuck_ 5/18/2008 2:57:27 PM

The "some f*cking shit" Conspiracy. Jesus... if they are SO original and SO f*cking artistic... HOW THE f*ck COME THEY CAN'T COME UP WITH A BETTER NAME!!!!!!!!!!!!! So disappointing... and I won't listen to this band because of it.

last one in the noose_ 5/19/2008 1:28:20 PM

The cancer conspiracy is a real conspiracy theory, you silly man. Try googling the phrase. Also great band/album, vii is my fav as well

Blayer_ 5/27/2008 10:30:03 AM

YES! Audio Medium has been blowing my mind for years.