|12th of May, 2023
|Metal Blade Records
“We’re just like roaches, never dyin’, always livin” the famous quote originally claimed by DJ Premier on one of hip hop’s best albums of all time, also applies greatly to Cattle Decapitations new record Terrasite and the band itself. For almost 30 years now, the five piece hailing from San Diego California, have constantly been developing their own unique soundscape and pushing the boundaries of heavy music. With 2012s Monolith of Inhumanity in particular, the technical deathgrind bunch, including one of the genres most versatile (and controversial) fronters Travis Ryan, carved their own niche in the realm of all things that are extraordinary and heavy.
By adding more technical aspects to their music and striving for a more atmospheric approach, also adding the now infamous goblin like clean vocals, the band managed to create a highly unique and simultaneously polarizing sound on 2012s pivotal release. Now with each following release, the band managed to build upon their trademark sound and released highly enjoyable follow-ups to the landmark album that is Monolith Of Inhumanity.
While Cattle Decapitation have always been known for their lyrical focus on animal rights and eco-social issues, 2019s Death Atlas displayed an extremely dark view on many of the shortcomings induced by modern society, that culminated in all humans being extinguished. With Terrasite, the band now takes the exact opposite approach and portrays the aftermath of human form transcending into some kind of roaches, as seen on the gruesome album cover.
The music though is still as lethal as ever throughout the record’s runtime of nearly 53 minutes. Anyone who heard the pre-released barn burners “Scourge of the offsping” and especially “We eat our young” should have any doubts crushed, that these guys would be going softer. With this release, Cattle Decapitation still offer lightning speed deathgrind riffs and highly technical drumming as well as a vocal performance that solidifies Travis Ryan as one of the GOATs in the game, portraying everything from pig squeals to ear piercing screams.
The bass also gets to shine in a more prominent fashion compared to other genre releases, also emphasized by the crisp and punchy, but still transparent production. While these facts are already known to most fans of the band, what separates this record from the previous ones is that the band’s songwriting is ultimately more concise and focused than ever before. The divisive screeching pirate vocals of Travis Ryan for instance, have been integrated into the songs far more engaging and interesting. On Death Atlas there were certain passages where they just felt forced and kind of took away the energy of the songs they were featured in. That’s not the case here as they add textures and much needed space to breathe on highlight tracks such as “...and the world will go on without you“, the catchy “A photic doom” and penultimate ten minute mammoth track “Just another body“. The latter also features a haunting and beautiful goth inspired vocal section that is carrying the track to its glorious end. The use of additional synths and even trumpets/horn sections thoughout numerous tracks such as on the aforementioned closer and Solastalgia create further memorable moments and enhance the replay value and the flow of the record as a whole.
As you can see, there are a lot of things to talk and enjoy about Terrasite. That also counts for each and every track and is further proof that Cattle Decapitation just released their best album since Monolith Of Inhumanity with their latest installment. The bar for further releases got set extremely high by San Diegos most famous cockroaches.