"Red Light Carousel" (Tribunal; 2005)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter


The Cardinal Effect is a young metalcore band out of Raleigh, North Carolina that plays with a strong emphasis on melody (especially during the choruses). The formula for this particular style of music is starting to grow thin, but I still enjoying hearing heavy music that manages to be catchy. The Cardinal Effect are aggressive and catchy and that's got to count for something.

I'm assuming that melodic metalcore bands aren't having any difficulty pulling in fans from this ever-increasing fan base. However, I suppose there must be some difficulty appealing to the more extreme/traditional hardcore and typically melodic rock bands. The Cardinal Effect somehow straddle the middle of these two extremes while providing each song with enough interesting melodic ideas and rhythmic diversity to avoid becoming just another metalcore band.

I think The Cardinal Effect are at their best when they're focused more on their melodic sound than their hardcore tendencies. I'm also fairly impressed by the impassioned, desperate vocal style which has a significant drawing factor that will determine how often I pull this CD of the shelf for repeated spins.

The Cardinal Effect is definitely a band that could grow on me over the years.

"Red Light Carousel" is for fans of Atreyu and Killswitch Engage.

"Red Light Carousel" was produced by Jamie King and The Cardinal Effect.

The Cardinal Effect is Jonathan Parker on vocals, Chris Webb on guitar, Jason Evans on bass guitar, and Jason Stanley on drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2005 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 09 Dec 2018 12:03:11 -0500.