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Cardiac Arrest – The Day That Death Prevailed

Cardiac Arrest
The Day That Death Prevailed
by Nathan Dufour at 13 August 2020, 12:53 PM

The underground is a weird place to be, especially within the last few years. With the advent of ever more streaming services available to an increasingly fickle consuming public, especially and belovedly Bandcamp, the listener is overwhelmed with content in ways never before seen. Sifting through this deluge to separate the wheat from the chaff is a chore at best. It is somewhat easy, convenient even, for regional darlings to release new material (or old material, for that matter) with streaming come-ons like “underground classic” or “unearthed early material,” the rough equivalent of “for fans of” stickers on physical albums to entice the listener with similar sounding bands to what they want. In some cases, this pays off splendidly of course and can be especially helpful for underground enthusiasts looking for something new, old, or in-between.

CARDIAC ARREST have been giving heart palpitations for years now, and yet, they are still largely unknown, though deadly serious nonetheless. Their stock-in-trade is a mix of OBITUARY riffing and blackness, churning forth from deep below in the bowels of underground circles you’ve never heard of. Played fast and loose, with an almost punk ethos and certainly a DIY ethic, 2020 finds them well indeed on their newest platter “The Day That Death Prevailed.” Take a deep breath and dive in. You like meat and potatoes, right? Well, that is really all you have here, and the gravy is the production - thick, thick, thick. With that said, the album doesn’t suffer from over compression, with everything just muddy enough to make you feel like you need a shower.

There are no boundaries pushed, the band playing well in the pocket of the groove without becoming a trope of caveman riffs. A track like “Naegelric Outbreak” pummels the listener with riffs, pinches, and an old-school feel sure to please fans of the genre, and is likely to get some new fans along the way. This is the soundtrack to your favorite dive bar. Smattering some well-placed samples of abject agony, “Birth Of Hideki” has guitars set to drill, a slight nod to D-beat influence and a healthy dose of USDM peppering the proceedings. “Plague Ridden Destiny” plods along at a pace unlike the rest of the album, low and slow. Vocals are at the fore, bubbling just below the surface of the main cacophonous riff like water circling the drain.

The back half of the album is really the standout here, which is good because so often, this genre is front loaded, with boredom setting in quickly due to repetition (which is odd because we like things that sound like other things we like). “Eradicate The Masses” begins like a battle cry before blasting shit to bits in the best of ways, riffs cutting a wide swath of aural damage to the listener. Seventh track “Endless Dread” is a particular favorite, invoking the best of OBITUARY but with a decidedly Midwestern flair. Again, the riffs are razor sharp, even if the tempo is slowed down. That second verse certainly gets the head nodding in a pleasing, albeit simple manner. It’s just good death metal with a blackened tinge and a sludgy undercoating.

The Day That Death Prevailed” is, well, a prevailing testament to a band content to remain forever underground. Get the battle jacket ready.

Songwriting:  7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability:  7
Production:   7

3 Star Rating

1. Thrive On The Fear
2. Naegelric Outbreak
3. Birth Of Hideki
4. Plague Ridden Destiny
5. A Call For Violence
6. Eradicate The Masses
7. Endless Dread
8. Sodomite
9. Up From Oblivion
Adam Scott – Guitar, Vocals
Nick Gallichio – Drums
Tom Knizner – Guitar, Backing Vocals
David Holland – Bass, Backing Vocals
Record Label: Memento Mori


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Edited 08 February 2023

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