CARDIAC ARREST "The Day That Death Prevailed" CD (Memento Mori 2020)
The long-awaited 7th full-length by these U.S. Death Metal stalwarts. Formed in the bowels of Chicago way back in 1997, Cardiac Arrest should need no introduction to ardent fans of rotting and blood-drenched Death Metal, for these grave-dwellers have been carving out aural nightmares of perishing and grime for decades now. Consisting of four individuals with an unearthly interest in all that's absurd, morbid, gruesome and unhealthy, the band's been consistently getting heavier and more vile with every album they spat out, honoring timeless Death Metal of the most grinding and putrid ilk with genuineness and a no-nonsense approach, yet adding enough personality to be in a forever-rotting league of their very own. Now, more than half a dozen albums deep into their 23-year career, Cardiac Arrest have again delivered a masterstroke that bands a third of their age would be jealous to release: "The Day That Death Prevailed". Much like they did with their previous album for Memento Mori, 2018's acclaimed "A Parallel Dimension of Despair", Cardiac Arrest stick to their guns, but come out with those guns fully blazing! Tastes may change, but these U.S. diehards continue to stay true to the iron-clad ethos of genuine, all-caps Death Metal; if anything, they get better with age. Indeed, the title "The Day That Death Prevailed" is fitting, for their rigorously fine-tuned form of Death Metal squarely harkens to older, purer days -when true songwriting was valued most, and the disgusting chops to back it up. Cardiac Arrest do both here, gutsfucking the listener with a fiercely focused mix of headbanging gallops and well-timed bouts of blasting, a streamlined, shit-heavy steamroller that's as catchy as the clap; hooks and grooves and generally memorable nastiness are all sliced and sluiced across "The Day That Death Prevailed" with absolute ease. But lest one think "catchy" means "soft", think again: these Chicago miscreants are ever committed to horror in the most classic sense, just like aesthetic forebears Grave, Master, Benediction, Obituary, Cianide, Malevolent Creation and, of course, the Floridian masters Death and Massacre. This deep into their catalog, though, and it's about damn time Cardiac Arrest are included in the (un)hallowed ranks, right? With suitably stark cover art courtesy of Eric Rot and another crushing mastering job by Javier Felez at Moontower Studios, "The Day That Death Prevailed" once again proves that old age doesn't soften the diehard one bit: it just kicks them into Cardiac Arrest!