Cattle Decapitation – Terrasite
Release Date: 12/05/23
Running Time: 53:00
Review by Rory Bentley
I have to tip my hat to Travis Ryan. I thought I hated people but over the course of Cattle Decapitation’s magnificently vile discography he has shown a biblical contempt for humanity that has seen his lyrics explore people being butchered like livestock, having their bits and pieces hacked off and literally bringing about their own extinction. Following on from 2019’s magnificent “Death Atlas”, “Terrasite” now sees humanity reborn as grotesque insect hybrids ready to devour what’s left of the planet and put the final nail in the earth’s coffin. Just like Napalm Death there is a strong sense of morality running through this band that’s wrapped in the most disgusting evil sounds you’ve ever heard. GreenPeace take note!
Since 2012’s “Monolith of Inhumanity” the band have been on a hot streak of mind blowing extremity that is so dynamic and undeniable they have transcended their Grindcore roots and become a totally unique entity capable of appealing far beyond the underground. I can’t even be bothered to sustain any suspense as to how this latest release stacks up- it’s the best Metal album I’ve heard all year and it’s probably the best album the band have ever made. Ask anybody who has the misfortune of working with me on the website and they’ll tell you I don’t make a habit of giving high scores. But I know a 10 when I hear it and I’d like to plead the case as to why this is utterly essential and why this is worth your time. Starting with the man on the mic.
Travis Ryan’s voice is ridiculous. If you’re familiar with the band you’ll know that, but he turns in the kind of mind blowing performance that perhaps only Mike Patton would be capable of. One listen to debut single ‘We Eat Our Young’ is a lesson in what the bar for extreme vocals is. The guttural low growls are as good as anyone in Death Metal and the piercing feral shrieks sound inhumanly terrifying, all while maintaining perfect diction to drive those misanthropic lyrics home. But this is just a fraction of what the man is capable of here, that vile goblin-like approach to ‘clean’ vocals that nobody has been able to replicate is there in full force and has taken on an epic quality when put towards some truly titanic choruses. ‘Scourge of the Offspring’, ‘Solastalgia’ and ‘A Photic Doom’ to name but a few songs, all have the kind of rousing hooks that more commercial acts would kill for yet the pummelling intensity is never compromised. Add that to the brooding Pete Steel-like croon on sprawling closer ‘Just Another Body’ and you have a career-high vocal performance that may never be matched by anyone in Extreme Metal.
The atmospheric and textural elements that truly blossomed on “Death Atlas” are significantly expanded on for “Terrasite”. Opener “Terrasitic Adaptation” begins with the layered sound of the vile locust-like creatures gurgling and screeching into life, unsettling the listener and setting up the album’s concept beautifully. ‘The Insignificants’ features some dramatic almost cinematic arrangements in its second half that build tension masterfully with layered, Black Metal adjacent guitars, and the aforementioned ‘Just Another Body’ feels like a twisted take on Postrock for a large chunk of its runtime.
If you sickos out there we’re worried that the scabrous Metal aspect of the band’s sound may have had to take a back seat to the more ornate elements the album brings in, allow me to allay your fears. ‘The Storm Upstairs’ alone has more mind-bending Grindcore riffs than you could possibly need from Josh Elmore and Belisario Dimuzio and drummer David McGraw remains as imperious as ever behind the kit, breaking the sound barrier and your cheekbone on a whim. The band hasn’t lost a shred of intensity and if you just want to put the lofty concepts on ice and bang your head until it lands in your neighbour’s garden then trust me you won’t be disappointed.
By pushing their sound even further, turning in their best individual performances, crafting a real journey of and album and writing fucking great songs, Cattle Decapitation have one again raised the bar for modern Extreme Metal. “Terrasite” is the album we need to soundtrack humanity’s slow circling of the drain and I for one am happy to welcome the apocalypse with this on full blast!
01. Terrasitic Adaptation
02. We Eat Our Young
03. Scourge of the Offspring
04. The Insignificants
05. The Storm Upstairs
06. …And the World Will Go on Without You
07. A Photic Doom
08. Dead End Residents
10. Just Another Body
Travis Ryan – All Vocals
Josh Elmore – Lead Guitar
Belisario Dimuzio – Rhythm Guitar
Olivier Pinard – Bass
David McGraw – Drums
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