Cardiac Arrest
Vortex of Violence

Old school death metallers Cardiac Arrest are back for their fourth album, and it’s old school death metal as you would expect it. Semi-decipherable death growl? Check. Buzzsaw guitar tone? Check. Raw production? Check. Horror/death themed lyrics? Check. It’s all here, and that’s all that can be said about this album – it’s just  ‘there’.

None of it is bad mind you, there’s just not much to get excited about. I found myself incredibly bored with this album the more I listened to it. The riffs are relatively stale with the occasional solo thrown in, and the monotone vocals really start to blend together after a while. The trigger-less drumming has a very organic sound to it, but never really gives you any reason to sit up and take notice. It’s worth pointing out that longtime drummer Jim “Grindhead” Deabenderfer, who played on the band’s first three full-lengths, left before this album. Nick Gallichio replaced him, and the other 3 members have been the same since the beginning.

One area where the album did show promise, and what drew me to their second album, Cadaverous Presence, is when they slow things down to a sludge/doom pace and really let the guitar tone create the mood. The beginning to “Depths of Despair” is the best example of this. Unfortunately it’s not used enough, and the album just plods along during its nearly 50 minute run time, which is easily about 20-25 minutes more than it should have been. If they trim the fat and focus their sound, these guys could put out a much better next album. Recommended for serious fans only, and those who pass won’t be missing much.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kevin E
June 13th, 2012


  1. Commented by: E.Thomas

    I liked this alot. better than last cd by a mile

  2. Commented by: jerry

    I was in this band in 1998. It’s amazing that Adam is finally getting this shit going as he intended.

  3. Commented by: terp

    Just a tip of the cap for a well-written review. I wish more of the new reviewers shared your economy of words.

  4. Commented by: David Stoller

    I agree with terp. Great review. Long reviews can be fine if they’re justified by there’s only so many ways to say a record “hits like a battering ram and slices like a machete”. I enjoy such metaphors at times, but some reviews on this site feature too much of that kind of talk.

  5. Commented by: Jim Deabenderfer

    It’s also worth noting that I recorded the drum tracks for this album before I left. ;)

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