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Review

Cardiac Arrest – A Parallel Dimension of Despair Review

Band: Cardiac Arrest
Album: A Parallel Dimension of Despair
Label: Memento Mori
Genre: Death Metal
Country: USA
Release Date: April 23rd, 2018

Cardiac Arrest is lords of the Chicago underground who formed in 1997 and are back for their sixth full-length album. I’ve been a fan of Cardiac Arrest since early 2016 when I found them on Spotify. The band blends elements of chugcore bands and hardcore bands, with earthshaking breakdowns that rock you to the core. The band’s violent percussion goes amazingly with their brutal vocals and lyrics harkening back to the days when Cannibal Corpse and Deicide ruled the death metal landscape.

The album itself is a mild departure from their previous works and leaves some to be desired. While still menacing, the drums are no longer a hail of gunfire reminiscent of early Dying Fetus and Vital Remains’ album Dechristianize. Now they take a more traditional form. Overall, I felt disappointed in the departure from the percussive tones of the past, as it’s what first drew me to the band back when I found them. This is only a slight detraction though as what was lost in Percussion was made up for in groovy, deep bass that wouldn’t be out of place on a Death’n Roll album.

This seems like a transition album for the band, into a new and more commercial style. Gone are a lot of the previously great breakdowns as if the band is trying to move away from their old ways. There are still songs that satisfy fans like me and there are no songs that come across as bad, just songs that are less experimental. Each album before this one has held a sense of timelessness true to the core of death metal, even with their outside influences, and this album stays with that formula. I’ve said throughout this article that they’re becoming more commercial, more traditional and while that can be seen as a bad thing, I would still strongly recommend the album.

Over the course of writing this, I’ve probably heard the album seven times at least and each listen introduces me to a new layer of each song. Some really stand out songs are “Become the Pain”, “Professional Victim” and “When Murder is Justified” all of which I’ve listened to individually countless times. This almost feels like a compilation of remastered classics, except it isn’t, it is 100% new material from a band that’s been going for 21 years now and they’re still chugging strong. Even with my disappointment in the departure from their older style, I can say this is their second best album to date.

Become the Pain is the albums second track and it helps lay down a violent start to the album. The thundering bass laying down support for the drums and the wicked riffs make the song sound pure evil. Every growl is soaked in malice that might knock teeth out as the vocals beat down on you, demanding attention not only for them but for every other element of the song.

“When murder is Justified” starts with an obituary styled riff that chugs through the song with the lyrics almost sounding like dark comedy at points. The whole tone of the song is dark, hate-filled, and angry. This is no normal hate however, this is unending burning hate that slowly rots through the body, the kind of hate that can only be ripped from the bowels of hell and that’s just what this song does. The lyrics are dripping with disdain and the vocals reach into some of the gut-wrenchingly frenzied growls on the album so far

“Professional Victim” has some of the most insane drum work on the album and is so vile and disgusting it sounds like the band recorded it in a swamp. The star of this track is definitely the drums while the bass and guitar provide back up to it and the vocals help to solidify it as another great track. Now, these three songs are amazing, some of the best on the album. The entire album is great though, I would have a tough time trying to nail down a bad track. There aren’t very many guitar solos on the album, the most notable one being in “Drudge Demon” and completely shredding my ears into oblivion.

In all this album is great. I will miss the old cardiac arrest but if I can look forward to more like this then I guess there isn’t much to complain about. Any death metal fan can appreciate this, whether they’re the guy who listens to Obituary, Possessed, Cannibal Corpse, and has been around since the 80’s or the fans who live by their dedication to Suffocation, Dying Fetus, and Aeon.

Rating: 8/10

Tracklist:
1.Immoral and Absurd
2.Become the Pain
3.Unforgiving…Unrelenting
4.When the Teeth Sink In
5.When Murder is Justified
6.Drudge Demon
7.Rotting Creator
8.It Takes Form
9.This Dark Domain
10.Professional Victim
11.Voices From the Tomb

Total Playing Time : 47:31

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