Cattle Decapitation – Humanure Review

Originally written by Drew Ailes

A lot of people first took notice of Cattle Decapitation after somehow their album got banned in Germany. I don’t really know why, and I really couldn’t fucking care. It seems like all people talk about with this band is the fact that they’re all vegan animal-rights blah blah blah bullshit. Honestly, thirty other reviews basically say “Cattle Decapitation sounds like Cannibal Corpse, but really, they love animals! These animal lovers blah bliggity shit shit love animals! Major vegan controversy and hysteria! Animal lolita XXX horse animals!” That’s it. If anything, they should be devoting half the review to praising the name of this album, Humanure.

What we have here is spastic death metal with amazing low gurgles, livid high rasps, squealing harmonics, guitar dives, and colon-quivering bass. With their generally inventive guitar playing, Cattle Decapitation remind me of Oppressor at times. There’s some great guitarwork in a few of the off-the-wall solos that’ll probably grab your attention. Some of their build-ups lead to quick bouts which sound a little like Watchmaker without the viciousness. The drumming is really catchy with a lot of emphasis on the ride and just creative beats in general – Michael Laughlin really knows how to use his entire kit. I can’t recall precisely what Cattle Decapitation used to sound like, or if this is particularly a major deviation from their previous album, but I’m getting the feeling that they haven’t strayed too far. There’s something else it sounds almost fucking exactly like – it’s too bad I can’t figure it out. I’m really hesitant to call this grind due to most of the rhythms they’re playing at, so I guess I’d just have to chalk it up as death metal. So the grind is there, it’s just not the most prevalent aspect of the music.

I don’t really like the production work, done by Bill Metoyer (Slayer, WASP,Six Feet Under). Everything’s at a perfectly acceptable level for the most part, and overall, it works well for the album. It’s just my personal opinion that everything sounds a little too sparse – perhaps through something as simple as just the sound of the ride. Whatever though, it sounds empty and the vocals are a little overpowering, even. I don’t really feel like the guitar’s really interacting with the rest of the music that well, more of just sort of leading over it. Not to say that it’s guitar oriented, but there are a few parts that just don’t seem to line up someway or another. I don’t know whether I’d blame that on the production or just the songwriting in general, but it’s one of the relatively few problems of Humanure.

Then there’s a ten minute outro of pig noises and feedback.

And that’s where I stand. Despite the fact that I can’t find too many faults with Cattle Decapitation’s latest release and can find more than a few redeeming qualities – it simply doesn’t grab me by the balls and shake me violently. But it’s good. I can’t deny that. So, if you know ’em and love ’em, nothing should change with Humanure. Although this wouldn’t be a horrible impulse buy, if you don’t know ’em, take a listen to some samples first.

Posted by Old Guard

The retired elite of LastRites/MetalReview.

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