(DGR provides this typically in-depth review of the new album by Cattle Decapitation.)
We begin by stating the obvious, which has always been a strong suit of mine during my tenure here at NCS. I’ve brought you such hits as “Napalm Death are an important band” and “such and such disc is really good”, without any real qualifications as to why — so I figure why not continue with my trademark and just float this out there:
Monolith Of Inhumanity was a hell of a disc and it did a ton to elevate Cattle Decapitation’s stature. Cattle Decapitation were by no means a newcomer when Monolith Of Inhumanity hit, but it did seem like the disc where everyone finally took notice of them — which was hilarious, because it felt like a solid third of the reaction consisted of other people screaming, “You see? I fucking told you so! I’ve been saying this since Karma Bloody Karma came out!”.
They’re right too, but Monolith Of Inhumanity’s approach of basically being a hurricane of sound, with the band ramming everything and the kitchen sink genre-wise into its runtime and somehow managing to reign it all in so that it could be composed into songs, made the album an intense and incredible experience. It also made it an album that is nigh-impossible to replicate. Many bands didn’t even try to edge close to it, whereas others went chasing after the quickly homogenizing tech-death scene.
By being seemingly everything, Monolith Of Inhumanity became the Ur-Album, and damn near impossible to describe. It was one of those times where the old axe of ignorance being bliss truly applied, because if we had tried to make a thorough effort to capture the music in words, we’d still be stumbling over ourselves, going, “Well, it’s a death metal disc…kind of, it’s got grind elements…kind of”, as our unfortunate victims’ eyes quickly glazed over as they fell into a comatose state.
With essentially no one making a grab for Cattle Decapitation’s crown, they remain at the forefront of metal, but that also means that The Anthropocene Extinction — the group’s new album — has a lot to live up to. With essentially no competition, it means that Cattle Decapitation’s biggest competitor is, well, …themselves. In that context, The Anthropocene Extinction is especially interesting because it doesn’t feel like the band set out to compete with Monolith Of Inhumanity but have instead learned from it, adapted many of its sounds, figured out what parts they like, and experimented with their sound even further.