Cattle Decapitation - Monolith Of Inhumanity
Metal Blade
Technical Death/Grind
11 songs (43:03)
Release year: 2012
Cattle Decapitation, Metal Blade
Reviewed by Goat
Album of the month

For a band that started out pretty much as your average platter o'splatter, Cattle Decapitation have proved that vegetarians can be as meaty and satisfying when it comes to death metal as anyone else, and their fifth full-length Monolith Of Inhumanity shows a great band that continues to improve with every release. 2009's The Harvest Floor was a seriously impressive album, and that they've topped it here is no mean feat. As before, this is razor-tipped technical grind in the Cephalic Carnage style, replacing that band's demented weed-based humour with a desperate depiction of humanity consuming itself, that cover art perfectly judged. Not that you'll automatically be left with self-loathing every time you see a burger after hearing this, but the message is there and works, in much the same way as Carcass' methodical medical treatises. The subject matter here is downright disturbing, as death metal should be, and the vocal cackling and gasping on the likes of Dead Set On Suicide work perfectly with the ricocheting guitar riffs. Vocalist Travis Ryan has a broad range, from grunts and growls to a kind of screechy singing that is both melodic as well as clearly deranged, like a child's voice twisted beyond recognition.

Whether or not you actually believe meat is murder, there's plenty to enjoy here. I was interested to note that becoming a vegetarian in the years between their last album and this one didn't significantly improve my enjoyment of the music, because like so much death metal, your reaction to it is upfront and physical. A Living Breathing Piece Of Defecating Meat doesn't leave you with a changed view of yourself as a human animal, it leaves you between furious headbanging at the guitar riffocations,and breathless awe at the song's sickening, claustrophobic atmosphere. Cattle Decapitation are very skilled songwriters, and the chorus (yes, chorus) to this track is as insanely catchy as the rest of it is... well, insane. The drumming from the octopus-like David McGraw is especially intense and battering; to take one example, Gristle Licker simply exploding at the start before evolving into a technical, nuanced groovemonster.

It's hard not to list every song in the 'killing songs' list, as all are pretty damn murderous. Forced Gender Reassignment is a crunching assault as bloody as the theme, Projectile Ovulation starts with a superb death-thrash riff attack before breaking down into death metal grunt n'blasting, watery defecations of sound adding a disgusting, sweaty sheen to the music, and Your Disposal has something of a Ukrainian black metal vibe to it at first, a high, melodic Drudkh-y riff introducing proceedings, the song turning astonishingly epic as it progresses. And closing duo The Monolith (a chilling atmospheric interlude with weary spoken/screeched words atop) and finale Kingdom Of Tyrants (which is perhaps the most straightforward brutal death metal piece present, but which savagely and catchily reaffirms the band's atmospheric values, sounding for a wonderfully brief moment like Nightside Eclipse-era Emperor doing tech-death before turning more melodic and slower with Ryan's vocals almost - almost - becoming human) are simply magnificent. As is this album as a whole, some of the best death metal I've heard since the last Cattle Decapitation album and a must for fans of extreme metal.

Killing Songs :
Dead Set On Suicide, A Living Breathing Piece Of Defecating Meat, Gristle Licker, Forced Gender Reassignment, Your Disposal, The Monolith, Kingdom Of Tyrants
Goat quoted 91 / 100
Other albums by Cattle Decapitation that we have reviewed:
Cattle Decapitation - The Anthropocene Extinction reviewed by Goat and quoted 82 / 100
Cattle Decapitation - Humanure reviewed by Crash and quoted 84 / 100
Cattle Decapitation - The Harvest Floor reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
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