Saturday, April 14, 2007

Cattle Decapitation - Humanure

Cattle Decapitation
Deep Six/Metal Blade

Cattle Decapitation plays grindcore that’s vegan and animal rights-minded, like Carcass. Unlike Carcass, no harmonizers, Pro Tools-tinkering, or any other effects are used by Travis Ryan on his vocals. As he phrases it in the album credits, “all vocals are 100% certified organic.”

Cattle Decapitation are not trying to reinvent the wheel. The band’s sound can be described as a half-and-half mixture of Florida death metal and English grind. “Humanure” best exemplifies this in the relentless death/grind assault of “Bukkake Tsunami”, where the band effortlessly switches between riffs without ever loosing momentum.

Guitarist Josh Elmore isn’t afraid to throw down a blistering lead and isn’t afraid to show that he’s a talented player. This is refreshing, especially in a style of music where many musicians don’t play up to their potential.

Similarly, the bass is an often over-looked instrument in grindcore, with many bands forsaking it altogether. On this record, Troy Oftedal holds down the low-end and forms, with drummer Michael Laughlin, one of the tightest rhythm sections going today.

The three-sided vinyl, a joint release between Metal Blade and underground stalwart Deep Six Records, features outstanding packaging with a gatefold cover, ferocious artwork, and two different colors for the two LPs. The entire third side of the album is the noise masterpiece “Men before Swine” which features disturbing audio clips of animals being slaughtered, courtesy of PETA.

Musically speaking, it would be easy to compare Cattle Decapitation to The Berzerker, but The Berzerker relies too heavily on programming and technology tricks. Cattle Decapitation doesn’t use such tactics, yet the band emerges with a similar sound. It’s just further proof that, while Cattle Decapitation may not be doing anything new, they’re doing it better than virtually everyone.

Here's the promo video for "Reduced to Paste" off of the "Humanure" album.

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