Sunday 1 November 2015

Review of 'The Anthropocene Extinction' by Cattle Decapitation

San Diego deathgrind band Cattle Decapitation have dropped the hippy ethos. No longer are all their members vegetarians and no longer do they write songs about mankind's mistreatment of animals. Instead, they've turned to psychopathic songs about their hatred of humanity.

Their last album contained romantic song titles such as ‘A Living, Breathing Piece of Defecating Meat’ and ‘Dead Set on Suicide’. This album meanwhile settles for less explicit (but equally misanthropic) titles such as ‘Not Suitable For Life’ and ‘The Burden of Seven Billion’. Fittingly evil lyrics ensue - all to the accompaniment of blast beats, machine gun riffs and bowel-emptying breakdowns. 

Cattle Decapitation have never been softies sonically. On this record they attempt to show off their entire arsenal of extreme techniques. Most metal bands favour a certain pace but Cattle Decapitation seem to be both masters of breakneck speed and crawling sludge. Their vocalist Travis Ryan also shows impressive versatility – alternating between death growls, black metal screeches and a unique semi-sung snarl that sounds like its being delivered by a toothless pirate. 

Occasionally, the band don’t quite know how to integrate all their ideas into a flowing song – shoving riffs and  interludes together in a start-stop motion. This makes it a little messy at points. But it's still very exciting.