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Album Reviews : Cattle Decapitation – The Anthropocene Extinction

By on August 22, 2015

Cattle-Decapitation-The-Anthropocene-ExtinctionCattle Decapitation and their music, are the epitome of brutal. My first impression of them was certainly a good one when I listened to Karma.Bloody.Karma and after successfully shattering my ear drums, it made me appreciate the intricacies and technicality behind the whole grind sound. However it was not just their mosh-pit inducing tunes that I was floored by – a lot of their lyrical content centered around the sheer abomination that is animal abuse which is where my respect for them as a band and as individuals began, only continuing to grow. Since their first release in 2000 – 15 years on with their 7th full-length album, the band has certainly matured musically projecting more than just an image of gory album covers and unsavory ( and extremely cool) track titles to instilling a powerful sensation in your brain with their grind, creating awareness of how the planet and especially, it’s non-human specimens are suffering. I present to you, The Anthropocene Extinction, a first class brain-rattler to say the least.

The aural assault begins with the strong, dramatic tunes of ‘Manufactured Extinct’, a mid-paced track where the sounds of crashing waves intensify into an instant stomp of choppy bass lines and gurgling vocals which shows the band picking up right where the left off on ‘Monolith of Inhumanity’. Tracks like ‘The Prophets of Loss’ which features the mighty Phil Anselmo contributing to the track with some spoken word layers where the blast beats come forging through and Ryan’s vocals send chills down your spine while the more technical ‘Plagueborn’ with it’s interesting intro, background melody and ‘cleaner’ vocals so to speak proves to be an interesting twist in the midst of all the heavy. Groove-laden ‘Clandestine Ways’ continues the obliteration, exhibiting the more slam-like quality in the band’s music, the latter also quite reminiscent of Dethklok at some points. Travis Ryan, has quite frankly outdone himself on this one with his array of vocal capabilities ranging from punishing low gutturals to high-pitched screeches, he is indeed a man of extremes.

‘Circo Inhumanitas’ ferocity follows, pummeling right through your skull in all its blast-beat glory, slow yet hammering windmill inducing sections and more tasty chugging bass that guides most of the track – the chorus making it all the more interesting while instrumental ‘The Burden of Seven Billion’ serves as some sort of a relaxing atmospheric breather. The presence of this track at first seemed unnecessary to me, but then when you listen to the whole album continuously, the eerie mysticism of it is rather welcoming. ‘Mammals of Babylon’ gives you no time after that as it relentlessly smacks you straight in the proverbial face with its harrowing death metal riffs and underlying hints of melodic groove making it one of the most notable tracks of this album and personally, one of the best I’ve ever heard by the band. ‘Mutual Assured Destruction’, ‘Not Suitable for Life’ and ‘Apex Blasphemy’ continue maintaining a consistently dynamic pace and are sheer proof of the extent to which this band is heavy. ‘Apex Blasphemy’ would be my pick of the album as it ventures into the darker side of things with crusty, blackened riffs and the flawless drumming of David McGraw.

There are no bones to pick with the record in terms of production as it does further exhibit the steps taken by the band to experiment with their sound, however there are sections every now and then where you feel like some instruments overpower the others. The lyrics are thought-provoking, intense and throw light on the resulting effects of human activity to the environment and reflect how strongly this band feel about it. Much like Gojira who dedicate their music to the environment, Cattle Decapitation are on the same page albeit express it much more aggressively. Acoustic track ‘Ave Exitium’, with it’s sombre, doom-ish vibe, is another chance for you to exhale after a bombardment of crushing riffage which eventually leads into the monstrous ‘Pacific Grim’, a track that does complete justice as the album closer and features the voice of Bethlehem‘s own Jurgen Bartsch, thus exhibiting the most brutal ending to a release I’ve ever heard.

As always, there will undoubtedly be comparison between a new album and it’s predeccesor/s, however in this case, I’d risk it and say a comparison would be unnecessary. The Anthropocene Extinction in my eyes, like Behemoth‘s The Satanist is an entire entity on it’s own. Without thinking about Monolith and their older work, Extinction needs to be listened to objectively for you to really experience what Cattle Decapitation are trying to convey. It is a definite masterpiece that boasts exceptional musicianship, concept and overall creativity , there really can be no arguments with the fact that Cattle Decapitation are one of the tightest bands out there – a band that brutally uncovers the truth of reality, through the glory of grind. Definite contender for album of the year.


Prarthana is a vegan, Indo-Aussie, heavy music addict, fluent in sarcasm and metal. Traveling is an obsession as she enjoys taking in the history of various countries and following her favorite bands. She's either eating, teaching grammar or learning an instrument, when not occupied with windmilling in the faces of other humans.