Cattle Decapitation
Karma. Bloody. Karma

San Diego’s Cattle Decapitation have always been in the periphery of my death metal vision, lurking outside my favorite band circle, inching closer with every release due to my usual lack of affinity for grindcore. However, with Karma. Bloody. Karma Cattle Decapitation have burst into the circle, wide eyed and drooling with a full on death metal platter of filth.A dirty, grungy almost Autopsy-ish vibe oozes from every vegan pore of Karma. Bloody. Karma as Travis Ryan and his new lineup often slow things down to a creepy, psychotic lumber bolstered by an equally grimy production (courtesy of Billy Anderson) that’s a far cry from Humanure’s squeaky clean sound. Also, Travis has pretty much adopted a menacing guttural belch only, further shedding the grindcore dual screams.

Of course there are plenty of moments of grinding chaos and groove (“The Carcass Derrick”, “Total Gore”, “Bereavement”, “Suspended In Coprolite”), but on the whole, the album is far more controlled, foreboding and at times truly menacing. The variety of moods and paces on opener “Unintelligent Design” alone shows how far the band has come since their last singularly blasting effort. Tracks like the scrawling “Success Is….(Hanging By the Neck)”, the downright nasty and epic dirge (over 7 minutes) “Alone at the Landfill” (which really reeks of Autopsy), the haunting melodies of “The New Dawn” and disturbing atmospherics closer “Of Human Pride and Flatulence” are complete and finely crafted death metal tracks.

Though Cattle Decapitation have often garnered more attention for their PETA affiliation and vegan ways, with Karma, Bloody. Karma, the band’s music has finally taken center stage as the band has crawled up from the bottom of the grindcore barrel and rudely interrupted death metal’s meat eating upper hierarchy.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
July 11th, 2006

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