Review: “Cardinals” EP by Art Of Defeat

Saint Petersburg Florida Metalcore quintet Art Of Defeat have only been around since 2018 and composed and recorded their debut EP as Steve Mctigue (Vocals), Ryan Rightmyer (Drums), Rufino Lomboy (Guitars) Gradi Shutt (Bass, Vocals) and Marco Santos (Guitars, Vocals) before a line up change has seen Brandyn Soto take over at the microphone helm. Recorded, mixed and mastered by guitarist Santos and released on 1st December 2019, “Cardinals” has the band supporting Monuments in the US in April 2020.

Describing themselves with a Metalcore tag is kind of an injustice as there is way more to Art Of Defeat than just a Metalcore sound. “Concrete Trenches” has some brutal Death Metal moments in its Metalcore groove as a fine example of what the band are about. They’ve got some breakdowns and guitar tones that approach and touch the void into Deathcore and they know how to do a tempo shift. “Scent Of The Cage” has some melodic Post-Hardcore moments in it as well as some killer blast beat sections from Rightmyer and a stuccato riffage groove. The variety of sounds keeps things flowing, inventive and headbangable. Primarily a Metallic Hardcore track “Patsy” bounces along like a Bury Your Dead track with some ugly (in a good way) unclean vocal rippings and breakdowns galore. Pause break downtuned riffs make up its main body and if these guys aren’t snapped up by Stay Sick Recordings in the not too distant future there is something wrong in the World.

Good Pasture” is arguably the most Metalcore song on the EP with some bright lead flourishes in classic early 2000’s style, the vocals playing second fiddle to the churning beast of guitar work and a “Bleigh!” moment is well placed. The same Metalcore vibe is taken into “Servant of Time” that has something of August Burns Red about it as the band batter through the groove heavy material that stomps and chugs while having a couple of bright “Constellations” era style lead moments. A classic Steve Buscemi film sample brings in the riff heavy “Flags Down” that menaces with an eerie solo cutting through the dense rhythm slabs like a hot knife through butter. It’s caustic vocals are throat shedding class so their new vocalist has his work out for the follow up [7.5/10]

Track listing

  1. Concrete Trenches
  2. Scent Of The Cage
  3. Patsy
  4. Good Pasture
  5. Servant of Time
  6. Flags Down

“Cardinals” by Art Of Defeat is out now and available over at bandcamp

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