Release Date: May 8, 2012
Record label: Metal Blade
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal, Death Metal, Grindcore
California death-grinders Cattle Decapitation will never be accused of subtlety, but there are moments on the typically grotesque Monolith of Inhumanity, their seventh long-player, that are unabashedly melodic. The band's penchant for setting off relentless explosions of BPM shrapnel, while vocalist Travis Ryan swallows the microphone and uses his rib cage for a reverb tank, remains steadfast, but the occasional clean vocal in the mix, as heard on the exhilarating "Living, Breathing Piece of Defecating Meat," adds a new vintage black metal patina to the group's signature Carcass/Pig Destroyer-informed attack. Elsewhere, the brooding "The Monolith" engages with its slow-burn Fields of the Nephilim-esque build and bleak spoken word outro, "Projectile Ovulation" (the second best title after the aforementioned "Defecating Meat") is a grindcore drum classic, and epic closer "Kingdom of Tyrants," with its sludgy, anthemic midsection, offers up a montage of all of the band's filthy strengths, before slithering back into the pestilence from which it came.
On their fifth album, vegetarian gore-grinders Cattle Decapitation prove they’re not just Carcass worship. Vocalist Travis Ryan fully comes out of his shell with his, ahem, “melodic” “singing” and the Jeff Walker–esque tone sounds great (see “Lifestalker”). Elsewhere, the band shred harder than ever but with lots of cool twists: The insane gravity beat–led grind on “The Carbon Stampede,” unforgettable melodies on “A Living, Breathing Piece of Defecating Meat,” and fun guitar solo on the amazingly titled “Forced Gender Reassignment” show they’re continuing to progress while respecting the grindcore and death-metal parameters.
Everything you need to know about Cattle Decapitation is succinctly captured in the artwork for its ‘04 album, Humanure, where you’ll find a diarrheic cow defecating a large amount of human-shaped feces. As enchanting as that sounds, and it pales in significance to much of metal’s more lurid iconography, it’s abundantly clear that Cattle Decapitation abhors humanity. The butchery referred to in the band’s moniker isn’t anti-bovine; we’re the cattle to be slaughtered here, and the band’s oeuvre thus far has been underpinned by a straightforward, albeit extremely bloody, anti-human philosophy.
It's been three years since Cattle Decapitation unleashed their outstanding The Harvest Floor. Now, the San Diego, CA death/grind masters return with their seventh studio album, Monolith of Inhumanity, which is every bit worth the wait. "The Carbon Stampede" starts the record off with fast machinegun drumming and frenzied guitar work, as well as intense vocals (including gang back-ups featuring members of Cephalic Carnage).