Friday, May 25, 2012

Cardiac Arrest - Vortex Of Violence

Chicago's Cardiac Arrest have been releasing robust, blood soaked grindy death metal for over eight years and  in the last six years they've managed to produce four full-length albums, this being the fourth. Despite being quite fertile and releasing new material with little respite in between each release, Cardiac Arrest are still a fairly unknown band, and I can't really blame them since pretty much nay band with traits that doesn't stand out from the vortex of death metal bands easily gets lost in the turbulent stream of bands. Despite not bringing anything new to the table, these guys need some recognition for spewing forth some crusty, crunchy old school death metal with blatant death/grind influences borrowed from masters like Repulsion, Impetigo, Napalm Death or Terrorizer. There is a nice churning of these two elements while omitting other, popular influences like the traditional Swedish death metal sound or Incantation-esque dense tremolo pickings.

Cardiac Arrest are definitely heavy and fast throughout, maintaining velocity at a high level for the whole of the album and keeping the riffs pulverizing and hefty. With the obvious grindcore influence lingering near every aspect of the music naturally becomes hardcore-oriented and most of the riffs that are presented are somewhat one-dimensional chord progressions and chugs that follow similar patterns with little distinction, but I couldn't help but appreciate the eerie density that engulfs the riffs themselves, drawing them slightly away from flurried aggression and pulling them more towards deep, atmospheric incursions. I guarantee you that you will have sublime appreciation for the first array of diverse riffing, and you will bob your head for a short while, but within a minute or so the energy will fade that premier impact will loose its efficiency. Of course there are tracks that conjure up that vile old school death/grind while soaking the music in sheer aggression like the title track or ''Conjured Beings''. Tracks like these may not prove to be anything special overall, but their addition to the albums spiraling vortex of storming riffs adds some contrast to the music.

Usually, simplistic riffs like the ones here are fit better into shorter songs, but tracks pending for as long six and a half minutes do bore you, especially when they're basically the same riffs and chugs being repeated over and over. The pile of monotonous cadavers that topple upon ''Depths Of Despair'' provides with an arsenal of thrash laden mid paced stompers with a tiny hint of groove, if not anything. Most of the tracks were rather unimpressive but I suppose some stomping grooves and corpulent old school death metal tones make up for some spaciousness of the music. Just because this is old school doesn't mean that it will please fans of ancient, rotting death metal that so many other acts seem to adore these days. The overall delivery of the music sums up to something that solid as rock, and almost just as stable, and while the riffs are all sordid they can't bend too much, so I was left with a rather dry piece of death/grind. Even so, the album possesses a compelling force that should pull some hardcore and grindcore fans towards the magnet. It's crazed, but one-dimensional, so more than a few songs will probably prove ineffective.

Portal Of The Damned
Conjured Beings
Vortex Of Violence

Rating: 76%

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