If you’re not familiar with San Diego’s Cattle Decapitation then the band’s name and a look at the title of their latest album should be enough to tell you if you’re going to like it or not. Brutal deathgrind with a message is the order of the day here and, to be quite honest, trying to come up with a decent starting point to even begin trying to get across anything about this album has been a bit of a task.
Flawlessly played throughout, the band attack each track with a precision and brutality that is on one level pretty impressive, and on the other quite terrifying. In a genre where striking the balance between technical performance and actual song writing is crucial, Cattle Decapitation have managed to get it right and “Monolith of Inhumanity” – for all of its extremities – is an album chock-full of memorable tunes.
The guitar work on this album is simply stunning, with tracks like ‘Your Disposal’ and ‘Dead Set on Suicide’ sticking out with both blistering solos and taut riffs amongst the carnage created by the rhythm section. The vocals, courtesy of Travis Ryan, are also pretty astounding. Although for the most part he sticks to guttural deathgrunts, there are a few cleaner lines thrown in that add a little depth to proceedings.
Technically brilliant death metal is one thing but technically brilliant death metal with songs is another, and Cattle Decapitation have nailed it with this album. In what is turning out to be a bit of a vintage year for extreme metal, what with quality releases from the likes of Cannibal Corpse, Burzum and Napalm Death competing with their classic earlier works, this release should certainly be considered as a staple for the genre and is likely to be seen as Cattle Decapitation’s best album so far.