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Cattle Decapitation – Death Atlas

Cattle Decapitation
Death Atlas
by "Der Bärtige Mann" Gareth Beams at 20 November 2019, 9:44 PM

Californian 5-piece, CATTLE DECAPITATION return to our ears with their fifth release, "Death Atlas". All their albums have been with Metal Blade Records. While the band started with an entirely vegetarian lineup, only two current members are vegetarian, namely vocalist Travis Ryan and Guitarist Josh Elmore. We have come to expect a certain level of Brutality, Technical Skill and Aggression from the band, which they usually hit. So, let’s see what the guys have got for us

Bring Back the Plague” said no one ever. Drums kick off in style, joined by a frenzy of guitars, bass and vocals in the usually styles we love CATTLE DECAPITATION doing. It does then slow down, but the pace is taken over by the deeper growls, so the balance is restored. The growls are replaced with slower spoken style, but it’s only short lived before the pace, tempo and noise levels increase to what we want. The song ends in style with a jam of Death Metal style vocals and melodies.

With All Disrespect” kicks off with a screeching cry with blends into the instrumentalists’ melody. The drum beat works really to progress the song into new sounds, a slower, steadier melody. It is cut short and is taken over by the aggressive approach we come to expect. Vocals change between scream and spoken, it’s a decent blend as more often than not it is mixed together, not against each other, but a cocktail together to enhance the song.

Time’s Cruel Curtain” is a slower, softer (almost) approach to start us off, building up pace nicely. The long death growl breaks the silence from a vocal standpoint. After this, the song speeds up franticly. The balance is kept together in a composed way. There is a slow, spoken vocal returned here, it slows everything down, more like an OBITUARY song would do. The death growls return to break the song up into new sections, works a treat. There are sections where pace in increased, but never flies off the handle. Could say it never gets going into full gear. For a 5 minute song it changes the aspect of sound between 2 different sounds a few times, it works well enough to progress the song, but not well enough to say either sound progresses far enough

Death Atlas” closes the album off. The start has a fantastic, frantic instrumental section with drums leading the charge. The vocals have sped back up, even though still spoken. Not the higher pitched screams we are used to. Although it is a longer song so we anticipate changes. And then the higher pitched goes more spoken like songs above. Only difference is that the screams and growls take over nicely. The second phase of the song is a lot heavier vocally, which adds a great depth to the song, whilst firmly stabilizing the balance. The midway point slows down again, into a seemingly trance like sample. Drums kick in to make it have more of a Funeral Doom sound, just a bit lighter. The vocals match the style, bit weird and not really what I thought we’d hear. The song starts to fade away in the final phase, but takes nearly 2 minutes to die off fully. Not really what I was expecting

It’s a decent album, just I feel it was a lot less Death Metal, maybe a bit more Prog Death. I do hope they keep the Death style more than slowing down to Prog levels for the future. Still it has some great beats, some awesome Death Metal aspects still. You’ll still be a CATTLE DECAPITATION fan after this album, but you will be wondering if their sound will slow further in the future

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Anthropogenic: End Transmission
2. The Geocide
3. Be Still Our Bleeding Hearts
4. Vulturous
5. The Great Dying
6. One Day Closer to the End of the World
7. Bring Back the Plague
8. Absolute Destitute
9. The Great Dying II
10. Finish Them
11. With All Disrespect
12. Time's Cruel Curtain
13. The Unerasable Past
14. Death Atlas
Travis Ryan – Vocals
Josh Elmore – Guitars
David McGraw – Drums
Olivier Pinard – Bass
Belisario Dimuzio – Guitars
Record Label: Metal Blade Records


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