Wednesday 1 November 2023

Cardinal Point - Man Or Island (Album Review)

Release Date: September 25th 2023. Record Label: Q-Records. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl.

Man Or Island- Tracklisting

Man Or Island

Lay Down

Stray Dog

Behind The Fire

Rolling Ahead


Right 'N' Ready

We're Not ALone


This Chest


Darko Trajkovsi - Vocals/Guitar

Milan Stojkovic - Drums

Nemanja Dejanovic - Guitar

Dejan Mitic - Bass


Southern/Stoner Metallers Cardinal Point is a band who have been recommended to me multiple times ever since they released their new album Man Or Island. And I was pleasantly surprised by what I heard. Cardinal Point is a band who play a similar style of music to perhaps as Clutch and Planet Of Zeus which my good buddy Frazer Jones aka Desert Psychlist commented on the band's BandCamp Page. There's a hefty sideline in Heavy Rock themes and Blues soaked Southern Metal which allows Cardinal Point to play a tried and tested style of classic Stoner Rock/Metal. Cardinal Point has a never-ending supply of catchy and aggressive sounding grooves throughout the album.

Man Or Island works best when they embrace their Southern Metal roots with Blues Rock inspired vocals which almost goes into NOLA based territory for the heavier vocal delivery that Darko Trajkovski delivers with absolute relish on tracks such as Man Or Island, Lay Down and Stray Dog. The mood can be quite GRUNGE based on various stages of the track which you discover mostly within the stunning track Stray Dog. With a sludgy backdrop moving into almost Alice In Chains territory may prove there's something refreshingly different to Cardinal Point you wouldn't initially expect. The record is superbly melodic which allows the band to play various different melodic sounds within the whole album. 

Cardinal Point even finds the time to express themselves with Classic Hard Rock guitar solos that have an air of 1980's Heavy Metal dominance to them which only widens their total appeal to the Southern/Stoner Metal underground scene. Other standout tracks include Behind The Fire, Rolling Ahead, Right 'N' Ready, Sunrise and The Chest. Perhaps where Cardinal Point impresses the most with their technical skills and songwriting ability which does allow the band to create some highly original Southern Rock, Stoner Metal and Grunge passages of their own design.

There's also a gloomy sense of realism to Man Or Island which comes to focus when Cardinal Point plays from a mostly Grunge perspective with that killer Alice In Chains influence shining through. With small traces of Psych Rock and Alt Metal being added on the later stages of the album, Cardinal Point became more riff-focused with Darko, Milan, Nemanja and Dejan all bringing their "A" game to the party. 

Production values for Man Or Island is solid and has a cool "RAW" sound that captures the aesthetics of the 1990's Grunge, Southern Metal and Stoner Metal scene perfectly but with a more modern flow that doesn't feel overblown or over-produced at all. This allows Man Or Island to be a first rate album that should become a firm favourite within the Southern/Stoner Metal scene.

Words by Steve Howe

You can buy Man Or Island now on CD/DD/Vinyl via Q-Records.


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