Cattle Decapitation – The Anthropocene Extinction (Metal Blade)Sunday, 26th July 2015
Over the past few albums, Cattle Decapitation has grown from the view of being seen as a “solid” death/grind band to practically genre-leaders. Previous release Monlith of Inhumanity truly raised the bar for the band, and impressed more than a few people. The band has now reached the caliber where each new release serves as an ‘event’ of sorts, with many wondering how they will up the ante from the last album. Bottom line, the band continues to impress with The Anthropocene Extinction.
Taking what worked best for the band with Monolith, The Anthropocene Extinction amplifies those qualities and takes them to absurd heights. The contrast of melody with brutality is really the backbone to the album, with Cattle Decapitation’s knack to find melodies within some of the harshest extremes to be the richest rewards. “The Prophets of Loss” is one of the strongest examples of this, with a blitzkrieg of blasting starting off (blurring both black and grind realms in the process) yet ending with Travis Ryan’s indescribable ‘melodic’ rasps carrying the song out with the repeated line that is sure to bury itself within your brain: “We fucking die tonight, and that’s perfectly alright with me.” Even songs like “Mammals in Babylon” give the listener an absolute bludgeoning, but one can’t help but roar along with lines like “Too many people in this world – to simply forgive, to only forget.” Ryan’s vocals continue to impress, with a diverse palette that jumps as frantically as the rest of the instruments. But it’s not just his vocals that carry the melodies, as seen in the climatic build up within “Manufactured Extinct” and “Not Suitable for Life” owing just as much to the glowing musicianship ducking underneath.
The crazed and frenetic combination of vocals and jarringly extreme music is the other key element to Cattle Decapitation’s continued success. The melodies, as mentioned above, are a treat. But equally important is that they stick to the pummeling blitzkrieg of audial violence. There is ample opportunity to view this, as cuts like “Clandestine Ways” and “Mutually Assured Destruction” are as charged as anything the band has accomplished to date. “Apex Blasphemy” might be the pick of the bunch, frequently barreling into uncontrolled speed bursts and switching off into dark and ominous crawls.
While The Anthropocene Extinction doesn’t re-invent Cattle Decapitation, it reworks their best qualities in ways that allow them to blossom in fiendish and darker dimensions. Crushing from start to finish; what you may not expect is how frequently the music will embed itself into your earholes. Continuing to raise the bar for extreme music, The Anthropocene Extinction is a certain highlight of 2015 so far and not to be missed.