Cattle Decapitation – Monolith of Inhumanity (CD Review)
Genres: Deathgrind, Goregrind, Technical Deathgrind
Label: Metal Blade Records
Format: CD (Personal Collection)
From the heavy intro to “The Carbon Stampede” to the melodically-charged brutal ending of “Kingdom of Tyrants”, Monolith of Inhumanity carves a swath through the death/gore/tech grinders the world over. Uncompromisingly mindcrushing, even during the more melodic sections, this disc is going to be in the top ten of my albums of the year, guaranteed.
Travis Ryan’s voice alternates between wonderfully enunciated and easily understood death vocals to absolutely gutteral, barely decipherable even with the lyric sheet goregrind grunts, to a delay and echo touched singing that is still angry and death metal as fuck. His performance the entire album over is a definite highlight in itself. Lyrically I love this album; it ranges in topics from the self-destruction of the human race, to human overpopulation (and a solution in “Forced Gender Reassignment”), to the hazards of following Christ, and of course, above all, gore!
The vitriol from Travis is assisted by three killer musicians that all know their shit. Josh Elmore’s guitars are crushing and savage. My neck has not been this abused by a studio album since… well… ever. The leads are inventive while still keeping his style firm in death and grind, the solos finger flaying. The rhythms are fast, brutal and when it’s time to tech out, amazing.
Derek Engemann’s bass work is phenomenal, his tone and speed suggesting fingers over picks, with not a few pops and slaps thrown in to crush your face in. I think there might be a couple instances where he does switch up to a pick, but those might just be the right way of hitting the strings.
The backbone of the band, the human grinder himself, is Dave McGraw. The dude is hyper precise and his speed is unreal. From just straight grinds to technical drumming to bringing it down to a slower pace, Dave has recorded a drum clinic here that also comes, handily enough, with killer music and vocals.
As individuals, Cattle Decapitation are a bunch of dudes that kick serious ass, and would garner a high review themselves. As a whole, they’ve crafted an album that I’ve listened to about twenty to thirty times in the past two weeks since it arrived at the post office. This is not just a few good tracks or a couple nice clever riffs. Monolith of Inhumanity is an entire package, and it’s perfect.
10 out of 10.
Monolith of Inhumanity Tracklisting:
1. The Carbon Stampede
2. Dead Set on Suicide
3. A Living, Breathing Piece of Defecating Meat
4. Forced Gender Reassignment
5. Gristle Licker
6. Projectile Ovulation
8. Do Not Resuscitate
9. Your Disposal
10. The Monolith
11. Kingdom of Tyrants
Monolith of Inhumanity Personnel:
Travis Ryan – All Vocals
Josh Elmore – All Guitars
Derek Engemann – Bass
Dave McGraw – Drums