Monday, May 7, 2012

Cattle Decapitation - Monolith of Humanity

After seeing them live twice (the first of which introduced me to them) and listening to The Harvest Floor to the point of practically memorizing the entire album, Cattle Decapitation has become one of my favorite bands ever. Just by knowing that, you can probably guess my reaction when the band announced the future release of a new album PLUS a teaser of the album being one of the new songs. If you look at the ratings I gave each Cattle Decapitation album on Spirit of Metal, none of them are below average (average is 10/20), the lowest one being Human Jerky which was 14/20, which is VERY good for a goregrind album. Having started out as a goregrind band (Human Jerky and Homovore), Cattle Decapitation only caught the attention of the grindcore/goregrind crowd. After the release of Homovore, Cattle Decapitation became one of the biggest goregrind bands in the genre.

Something happened in the band that caused a shift in creative interests, which then saw the unexpected sound of their next album, To Serve Man. This album got Cattle Decapitation’s existence acknowledged by millions worldwide (note that I just said ACKNOWLEDGED, not LIKED). This album had more of a death grind sound than goregrind (or even grindcore for that matter). There are some death grind bands out there that put out a grindcore album before stepping into the death grind realms to make the transition smooth and easier for their audience to follow and keep up with. But Cattle Decapitation didn’t want to do that, they just went ahead and made the giant leap to skip over that step.

After that…well…they’ve just been throwing out one mind-blowing album after another; and they’re showing no signs of stopping. Skipping to 2009, The Harvest Floor gets released and album sales and concert attendance went up as high as a crackhead on the peak of Mt. Everest. The hype that the teaser for Monolith of Inhumanity created is nearly unspeakable. I’m seeing these guys on Saturday for the Occupation Domination tour and people are telling me that the people are going crazier for Cattle Decapitation than Aborted (the band right under the headliner, Origin). Here’s the quick summary of the new album: they’ve taken a step back to having more of a grind sound while managing to still be progressive. The big progressive sound of Karma Bloody Karma and The Harvest Floor is in what the guitars themselves were playing than the overall sound of the music, which was a very melodic and soft sound (especially evident in several parts of Gardeners of Eden from The Harvest Floor).

The first song that everyone heard from the new album was A Living, Breathing Piece of Defecating Meat. The sheer brutality and insanity that this song delivers is indescribable, yet there’s singing…wait…SINGING?? Where the hell did THAT come from?? Of all the bands that would incorporate singing in their extremely brutal music, Cattle Decapitation is one of the LAST bands I would have expected to do that. Here’s the thing about the singing that actually makes it an interesting and (as impossible as it may seem) unexpectedly FITTING element; it’s not your typical super clean and pure singing voice. The singing has an extremely unique sound that has a somewhat high-pitched rough sound (I’m having a really hard time describing it, so you should just listen to the teaser song.

That being the progression that they’ve made, Cattle Decapitation has worked to reanimate a lot of the brutality heard in albums like To Serve Man and The Harvest Floor along with some new insanity yet to be heard by the death grind fan (which could arguably be considered somewhat of a progressive element). Although I’m not going to pick specific favorites because the whole album is great, and those kinds of things form in my mind a couple of months to a year after listening to the album; I will say that the first track and A Living, Breathing Piece of Defecating Meat are the tracks that I’ve repeatedly gone back to the most.

Monolith of Inhumanity is yet another 20/20 album to add to the ol’ Cattle Decapitation discography. I would recommend this mainly to brutality and grind fans due to the increased amount in grindcore and brutal death elements that the record holds. Cattle Decapitation is showing no intentions of slowing down or decreasing in brutality or quality. My expectations for this album=surpassed.