Cattle Decapitation
Humanure

I’ll be the first to admit the debut album To Serve Man from this San Diego based vegan death/grind outfit bored me to tears. They seemed more intent on plugging the plight of PETA and mistreated animals all over the world than writing a decent album. So here is their second full length effort with a new drummer, Michael Laughlin (ex Creation is Crucifixion for those that care), and yet more veggie loving, anti meat, anti mankind, gore laden diatribes of death metal.Mingling Cannibal Corpse and classic Carcass in one sloppy, yet technical bowl of fermenting death metal stew, Humanure is surprisingly good and a vast improvement over the more grindcore influenced debut. Main man and PETA super hero, Travis Ryan continues with his plethora of layered growls and screams, but possibly less exaggerated ‘cavernous echo monster’ sounding and now sole guitarist Josh Elmore delivers a deft Jack Owen/Pat O’Brien Worship, but with less spastic results instead introducing some suitably technical brutality, and in yet another unexpected turn, a dash of savage melody.

The opening title track alone contains enough maturation and chord progression, to make this album barely recognizable from the blast beat obsessed debut. Laughlin has far diversity than Dave Astor, whether it is based on the bands new found song writing skills or his talent, the measure of CD’s improvement is discernibly palatable, like a thick juicy steak.

Finally it sounds like CD’s music has caught up with their disgusting yet intellectual lyrical stance, as the music now carries a certain sonic intelligence rather than pure blasting noise. Don’t get me wrong, CD are brutal as an artificially inseminating an enraged cow with your mouth, but they appear to have raised their game. I did not find any of the tracks on this album to be nearly as bland as the prior offering, as all 9 actual tracks (not including an intro and outro), had varying levels of definitive enjoyable death metal, whether it was the almost progressive twists of “Applied Human Defragmentation”, the disturbingly butt clenching “Polyps”, or the massive climax of standout track “Lips & Assholes”, CD just seem to be firing on all of their meaty cylinders. Also noticeable is the actual presence of Troy Oftedal’s bass, which gives Humanure the much needed weight, albeit not an utterly beefy bottom end, that To Serve Man was sorely missing.

A much improved album and finally CD are delivering music that might turn as many heads as their cover art and lyrics turns stomachs. On an related side note, to discover more about the band’s political affiliations check out www.peta-online.org or alternatively, and to show digitalmetal’s non-biased political correctness, also feel free to visit www.beef.org.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
June 1st, 2004

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