Monday, September 3, 2012
Cattle Decapitation - Monolith of Inhumanity (2012)
Depicting a half human-half monkey abomination, Monolith of Inhumanity's cover art sums up Cattle Decapitation's attitude toward humans rather nicely; the mutant ripping away its face and representing the lead number from the album, "A Living, Breathing Piece of Defecating Meat." Like maggots scuffling for the last bit of rotting trash, Travis Ryan experiments with a variety of vocal styles, most notably his rendition of traditional cleans and an assortment of conventional death metal growls. "Your Disposal" and "Kingdom of Tyrants" follow in much the same vein, but with a slight twist: not unlike black metal, one track has the guitars spiraling through the upper registers, while the other swivels back and forth between screaming chaos and a melodic midsection.
Even after a mere sampling of Cattle Decapitation's newfound experimentation, the band's inconsistent past has been erased or, at the very least, purposely forgotten because the latest effort is so excellent. Contrary to the popular belief, death metal is not just a wall of sound, loud for the sake of being loud or brutal for the sake of being brutal. Instead, an eclectic sampling of various musical elements found throughout the band's 16 year existence has been churned with tools fresh off the operating table and splashed onto San Diego's finest sound board. No longer is the act just another death/grind hybrid but premier song writers to be placed among the best of the best.
As the second half of 2012 belches more nasty brew courtesy of the metal scene, fans collectively agree that Monolith of Inhumanity is Cattle Decapitation's fiercest album to date and staple across the year's releases. Among the debris-ridden landscape the band oh-so-passionately preaches about, there isn't a finer album to be found, nor is there a record as painfully eyebrow-raising or controversy-inducing. While this reviewer was never a fan prior to Monolith of Inhumanity, these clean-cut California boys have really outdone themselves this time and converted a listener in the process.