Cattle Decapitation
Monolith of Inhumanity

Cattle Decapitation is a band that has grown a lot on me the past few years.  I wasn’t keen on their early work, but starting with Karma Bloody Karma and continuing with The Harvest Floor, this vegetable-loving four piece have continued to flesh out their crushing style on Monolith of Inhumanity.

What is so interesting about this band and what has kept their sound fresh is the mixture of styles they put on display.  You get the ambient technicality of Cephalic Carnage, the death/grind elements of Aborted, the spastic nature of Phobia, and the death metal influence and groove of Kataklysm.  Put in a blender and shake at 280 beats per minute and this is what you’ll get.  But these guys never seem to ape one style and it would be criminal to call them copycats.  Part of their unique sound can undoubtedly be credited to vocalist Travis Ryan, who displays an incredible array of pitches and growls on this album.  The most notable being the almost childish female sounding vocals on “A Living, Breathing Piece of Defecating Meat”.  They are probably pitch-shifted and show up at a few other points in the album and add an odd, if interesting, touch.  I most enjoy his full on brutal death growl, which can’t help but make the fans of all things brootal grin like they do when watching the torture scenes in Saw II for the 63rd time.

Drummer David McGraw is relentless on this album, highlighted by the insane gravity blast on opener “The Carbon Stampede”; they also fortunately show up later on.  He probably went through about 15 pairs of sticks tracking this album as his drums take an insane level of punishment on this album.  Josh Elmore varies things nicely, moving from sweeps to solos to the wall-shaking breakdown that ends the best track on the album, “Forced Gender Reassignment”.  The best part of the album is the thought and varied structures that went into each track, allowing each one to stand on its own yet as a whole come together into nearly 45 trauma-inducing minutes.

On a more cerebral level and something followers of this band well know, all four members are vegans and very pro-animal in their ideology.  On the flipside they loathe human beings as a whole and their lyrics reflect those themes unabashedly.  Maybe it fuels the furnace of destruction on this album, and if so then hate all you want because the extreme metal genre as a whole are the beneficiary.  Evolving one’s sound in the death metal realm can be quite challenging, but I can only hope Cattle Decapitation continue to pump out albums like this one.  Early front-runner for top death/grind album of the year.


[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kevin E
May 8th, 2012


  1. Commented by: vortex

    Glad to finally see a review of this one. I discovered this band because I’m vegan as well and Peta did a special on their website about them. Can’t wait to buy this and blast it in the car with the windows rolled down this summer.

  2. Commented by: denial

    Terrible 5th rate band.ill never understand why people like this band.

  3. Commented by: brutalicon

    ^^ you dont have to understand it, who gives a shit?

    @ Kevin Ellis, not vocal modification done.All natural, pretty awesome I think. Ryan pulls it off live too. Going to go watch them tomorrow night once again.

  4. Commented by: Cal

    Been very impressed with this album, to my surprise.

  5. Commented by: Old Pick Axe

    I saw them once (in 2002) open for GWAR. They were touring for their first album…and they are an absolutely cool live band.

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