Every scream, every dissonant guitar squeal, every kick-to-the-teeth breakdown on The Quiet Erosion, the latest album from Quebec City metalcore quintet Cardinals Pride, is an urgent call to arms – a rallying cry for the dissident and disenfranchised.
In the 1970s, the band’s home province of Quebec experienced the Quiet Revolution – a period of intense socio-political and cultural change that ushered in the secularization of society and a more progressive political realignment. It was a time of great prosperity for the province and its people; however, as Cardinals Pride vocalist Alexis Paré sees it, much of that progress is slowly and silently being undone – and it’s reaching beyond borders.
“We’ve seen this backwards slide in the kinds of progressive ideas that were put forward during the Quiet Revolution, both here in Canada and in other countries around the world,” Paré offers, pointing to the shift away from universal understanding and empathy towards more toxic individual and tribal mentalities. “The way things are getting, it’s going to get harder and harder to keep moving forward.”
That’s The Quiet Erosion.
Call it a musical manifesto from one of Canada’s most exciting and innovative bands, lacing elements of metalcore, post-hardcore, and punk rock into a combustible sonic cocktail that demands attention. “We’ve never really followed any trends, or tried to jump on any styles that were popular in our scene,” Paré says about the band’s musical identity, forged over years of studio sessions and heavy touring.
This time, though, there’s just something more powerful, more compelling. Building on the strengths of their past two EPs – 2012’s Priorities and 2015’s Those People Will Never Die – The Quiet Erosion delivers a distillation of the fiercest components of the band’s past output that maximizes its power and potency.
Part of that comes from Paré taking over sole vocal duties after the amicable departure of longtime co-singer Mathieu Guay, cementing Cardinals Pride as a five-piece with Paré on the mic, Nicolas Sénéchal on drums, Antoine McNulty-LaSalle on bass, and Didier Archambault and Nicolas Doiron on guitars.
“We were packing a lot into music in the past,” Paré admits, referring to the twin-vocal attack and dense technical passages often on display. “Now, we’re trying to write smarter, to make sure everything we’re doing is elevating the song and capturing the right emotion so that more people can relate to it.”
The result is truly captivating, relaying an unrelenting sense of urgency regardless of whether it’s delivered from the stereo or stage.
In fact, the only thing that rivals the outright intensity of this fierce musical tour-de-force, is its lyrics. Circling around the central theme of social and cultural regression, the songs touch on contrasting ideas like hope and despair, unity and non-conformity, optimism and disillusion.
What’s more, while the band has never shied away from their French-Canadian roots, for the first time, some of the lyrics are delivered in their native tongue.
“We came to the realization that it’s very hard to achieve your full potential, to communicate as effectively as you can, if you can’t write in your own language,” Paré explains, and indeed, the lyrical weight underpinning The Quiet Erosion required as much force and pure power behind them as possible. “It feels good to be embracing who we are and where we come from in that way,” Paré adds. “It just feels right.”
Now, Cardinals Pride is ready to take their music and message on the road – a recruitment mission for their musical militia. As they make abundantly clear throughout The Quiet Erosion, the time to act, to change the direction of our political and social discourse, is now. At the very least, the album ensures that, even if our slow slide backwards continues, it will no longer be silent.