Cattle Decapitation – Monolith of Inhumanity

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Some people have a message to spread, but not everyone will listen to them. However, some just know how to get a point across. Cattle Decapitation, through the means of ultra-vicious, grinding Death Metal, broadcast their message loud and clear. The pro-veggie four-piece have been churning out uncompromising slabs of brutality since their formation in 1996 and show no signs of calming down with their fifth opus ‘Monolith of Inhumanity.’

As usual, the visceral imagery on the cover-art grips you before the disc even enters your stereo. A man is seen clawing his own face off, and removing his human exterior to reveal his inner primate; in the background are the victims who have already reverted back to chimp form and are clambering around a desolate wasteland. The pure hatred begins to emanate from the album with opener ‘The Carbon Stampede’ and after a stirring introduction the rage begins to shine through. The infamous no-nonsense lyrics and larynx-destroying vocal delivery from Travis Ryan is as horrifying as ever, displaying an impressive range of maniacal shrieks and demonic growls. Travis can clearly still compete with the best. The bluntly titled ‘A Living, Breathing Piece of Defecating Meat’ shows the band at their best. Waves of violent riffs, the furious low-end apocalypse from Bassist Derek Engemann and the insanely menacing chorus flood the track with graphic excellence to create a truly dark end product.

The evil-as-fuck ‘Forced Gender Reassignment’ is released like a caged, feral beast that attacks you straight at the ear drums. Huge chugging riffs soon turn to punishing blastbeat forays and unrelenting, discordant roars and shrieks. Dave McGraw’s rage-filled drumming really shines on this track; raw savagery and technical ability are exhibited here through the intelligent and accelerated drum fills. ‘Lifestalker’ is a sinister track that takes many twists and turns throughout, including an ambitious, mid-tempo guitar solo and Cattle Decapitation’s attempt at clean vocals – I use that term very loosely, as they are more like an unsettling, melody-infused, abrasive screech. Guitarist Josh Elmore is superb throughout the entire album, shredding out furious riffs and twisted solos on ‘Do Not Resuscitate’, whilst on the next track, ‘Your Disposal’, mixes things up with dashes of melody, which drives the record on with a vast amount of skill and good variation in its approach.

The closing one-two of ‘Monolith’ and ‘Kingdom of Tyrants’ round the album off well with the former serving as a bridge into the latter. The soft crackling of fire, the haunting samples and the message of hatred laid down by a menacing Travis builds up to more vicious spite from the final track.

Having come a long way since their early, typically grind-core tracks that barely break into a minute, Cattle Decapitation are carving out their own identity. They still have a foot firmly planted in their grind roots, but have a far more complete sound and aren’t afraid to experiment near the boundaries of their genre. ‘Monolith of Inhumanity’ is a great success and sees a great band expand their sound whilst never losing sight of what they are. They are some seriously pissed off vegetarians that want to scare you shitless by attacking all of your senses, and to spread a seething message of despair for the human race.

Scribbled by:

Metalhead, Wannabe Music Journo, Long-Haired Fool, Thrash Enthusiast

Can also be found at his kick ass blog