1.The Carbon Stampede
2.Dead Set on Suicide
3.A Living, Breathing Piece of Defecating Meat
4.Forced Gender Reassignment
8.Do Not Resuscitate
11.Kingdom of Tyrants
Cattle Decapitation have grown a lot in their career. From the sloppy, gritty goregrind beginnings, they have matured and progressed into one of the stalwarts of the deathgrind scene today. I had heard how well received their latest effort was, and I just couldn't resist picking it up when I located it at FYE. Well, I definitely see why this album is being praised like it is, because it absolutely SLAYS
Building up on the ideas that the band were already hinting at on "The Harvest Floor", Cattle Decapitation have created what is without a doubt the best album of their illustrious career to date. They are able to set themselves apart from their deathgrind peers by a number of distinguishing factors. The addition of slight progressive and melodic elements are probably the biggest reason. Don't take this the wrong way though: the brutality and utter insanity (no pun intended) that Cattle Decapitation are known for is still the number one focus, and i'd say its more focused than ever.
Travis Ryan's vocals are some of the most insane you'll ever hear. He has some of the most ridiculous range I've ever heard out of a death metal vocalist. From manic, insane shrieks that could peel paint off of walls, to traditional mid range death growls, all the way to brutal and deranged gurgles and gutturals, he let's us know that this album is called "Monolith of Inhumanity" for a reason. The clean vocals that were introduced on The Harvest Floor have also returned, giving the songs a bit of an epic quality, despite being only 3 to 4 minutes in length. Josh Elmore has also grown by leaps and bounds. If you listened to "Monolith of Humanity", and went back and heard "To Serve Man", you wouldn't even think it was the same guy. He has gone from being a competent but standard guitarist to forging his own unique style. His riffs have gotten more polish and more technically precise since the early days. Tons of brutal riffs, while keeping some variety in the mix. His leadwork here is ASTOUNDING. His solos have gotten more melodic, not to mention more common as well, as pretty much every song features a wailing, ripping solo. The star of the rhythm section is without a doubt drummer David McGraw, who is without a doubt the best drummer the band has ever had. His brutal blasting and insane fills tie this gory package together perfectly, as he propels all of the songs forward with a sense of urgency and professionalism. Don't think that bassist Derek Engelmann is being left out of the equation either. His basslines are a bit hard to hear at times, but he gets quite a few chances to shine, with some appropriate bass solos popping up here and there.
Variety is a difficult thing to pull off in a genre like deathgrind, but the songs on Monolith of Inhumanity display it in spades. Starting off with the appropriately named "The Carbon Stampede", featuring guest gang vocals from current and former members of Cephalic Carnage, this record blasts off into an inhumane whirlpool of sheer ferocity. "A Living Breathing Piece of Defecating Meat" features an anthemic chorus courtesy of Travis Ryan, before collapsing back into the pure brutality. The band goes out of their gore/animal rights comfort zone to attack religion on the cyclone of chaos known as "Dead Set on Suicide" featuring some battering percussive destruction from David. "Gristle Licker" may be the bands most technical song to date, with Josh really showing off his potential as a guitarist. You can look to "Forced Gender Reassignment", with its skull crushing breakdown and morbidly humorous lyrics, or if you really wanna hear Travis test his vocal abilites, check out the closing track "Kingdom of Tyrants". None of this, however, prepared me for "Lifestalker".
This is hands down the best song Cattle Decapitation has ever wrote. The song begins with a serving of good old fashioned brutality and headbanging riffage, but about a minute and a half into the song, something happens. Following an appropriately placed bass solo by Derek, the song shifts into an atmospheric, melodic interlude, and you realize then and there just how far this band has come. Two minutes in, Josh rips out a solo, and it's no ordinary guitar solo. This is thirty seconds of sheer breathtaking bliss, with every note hitting you like a ton of bricks. At 2:50, you realize that your breather is now over, and the band returns to trampling you again.
Folks, this not your ordinary deathgrind record. Hell, it's not your ordinary Cattle Decapitation record. This is an entirely different beast altogether. If you are a fan of deathgrind, you are cheating yourself if you don't own this record. Even if you aren't a deathgrind fan, you should still give this album a chance.
Dead Set on Suicide
A Living Breathing Piece of Defecating Meat
Forced Gender Reassignment