Cattle Decapitation // Monolith of Inhumanity
Rating: 2.5 – Pounding you into veggie burgers
Label: Metal Blade
Release Dates: Out Worldwide

Cattle Decapitation - Monolith of Inhumanity - ArtworkIf four dudes who hated me decided to start a band that embodied as many things I dislike about death metal as possible, that band would probably bear a strong resemblance to Cattle Decapitation. Breakdowns? Check. Pig squeal vocals? Yup. Masturbatory “technical” guitar parts? Those too. And don’t even get me started on the pushy, militant veganism. To say that clashes with my personal lifestyle would be an understatement. But whether I like it or not, Cattle Decapitation is back with their 7th full-length, Monolith of Humanity. [I feel like you’re not being very objective, FAG. AMG]

As much as I enjoy me some death metal, bands like Cattle Decapitation remind me of hot sauce. Not the kind that adds flavor and spice, but the stuff with names like “Burning Colon” or “Death Sentence” and a picture of a fiery skull on the bottle. People may be eating that stuff, but they’re doing it to prove a point, not to make their food taste good. I get the impression that most Cattle Decap fans are in it for the vegan message and the perceived heaviness, not because it’s musically interesting or because it has a lot of replay value.

Look pretty metal to me... Seven albums in, and the band is still doing what they do, bringing the death-grind metal fury while telling you how gross slaughterhouses are (clearly, these guys have never seen how soy is made). However, there’s some minor changes this time around. New bassist Derek Engemann can certainly play, and he slaps the shit out of that bass to make sure you know it. I think he even busts out part of the Seinfeld theme in one of these tracks. Vocalist Travis Ryan sounds as br00tal as ever, but also experiments with some clean vocals on this album. I wouldn’t say his singing voice sounds ‘good’—it’s digitally enhanced to the point where he sort of sounds like a children’s choir from hell—but it at least keeps things interesting.

For the most part, this album is 40 straight minutes of wall-to-wall chaos, with few exceptions. “Monolith” is a sort of slow ambient/spoken word piece towards the end of the record, and “Your Disposal” flirts with an almost-melodic intro. A few riffs and sections stand out from the pack (notably “Gristle Licker” and “Lifestalker”), but it’s mostly a blur. Oh, and “Forced Gender Reassignment” is a fucking great name for a song.

What else can I possibly tell you about this album? That it’s “a non-stop brutal assault that doesn’t let up?” Because that’s the truth, for better or for worse. It’s fucking Cattle Decapitation. If you’ve ever heard them before, you pretty much know what you’re getting here. I can’t really give this album a bad rating – it is exactly what it was intended to be, and I can’t be pissed off because it doesn’t sound like Testament or whatever. It is what it is. This will make a great soundtrack for bros beating each other’s asses in the pit, all while denying themselves the taste of delicious animal products.

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  • that was actually a really good review. Had a few laughs in it too. While I did like the album and think your criticism is a bit harsh, I do agree that it’s exactly what one would expect from the band. And no, I’m not a vegetarian. But now curious as to how soy is actually made. I’m hoping it’s something brutal. 

    • Soy…um, from soy beans.

      • bkmiller

        Have you never heard the screaming of beans as they are boiled and mashed and pummelled and turned into a paste…knowing deeep in their vegetal souls that they will never be able to fulfill their destinies of producing more genetically engineered soybean plants?  The inhumanity, man, the inhumanity. 

        • ‘Tis the sad fate of the buns. May Seitan bless them.

          • Fisting_Andrew_Golota

            I’ve always believed that vegetables have feelings. That’s why I stick to eating meat.

  • Fisting_Andrew_Golota

    I guess the review does come off a little harsh. It’s Cattle Decap — if you like ’em, you’ll like this album. As far as soy goes, my point was that almost ALL mass-produced foods look gross when they’re being made, whether they’re made from animals or not. 

  • Patrick Thomas

    Monolith may not be your style but surely it has quite a bit to offer for fans of this style of death metal. You can’t deny it’s a very creative album and pushes the boundaries of what death grind can be. 

  • Wow, this album has been getting a shitload of maximum scores on many websites, so it was a bit (but not so much) surprising to see them receive such a low score here on AMG!

    Guess I’ll have to listen it and be the judge myself!

  • You keep referring to Cattle Decap’s listeners as vegetarians that share the band’s ideology. This is funny seeing as metal has always been an outlet for controversial topics, i.e. I can listen to Arghoslent and not be racist, Deicide and not be Satanist, etc. Consequently I thoroughly enjoy “Monolith…” while eating a carne asada burrito.

    Something else I find annoying is that you said “I can’t really give this a bad rating…” then give it a 2.5, I’m sorry, but that would translate to a 50%. No one would want to receive a 50% on a final, it is a bad score. Also, it’s called reverb. If you don’t know what reverb is then you probably shouldn’t be reviewing death metal. I bet you get your rocks off listening to doom metal, queer.

    • A score of 2.5 here translates into an OK album, not great, but not bad either. The pointless gay slur is pointless.

  • The suggestion that I would only listen to this music because of it’s vegan themes is pretty insulting. As a matter of fact, I pretty much *only* eat meat. When I was a kid, my mum had to force me to eat vegetables. These days, my girlfriend has to force me to eat them.
    I listen to this because it fucking kicks ass. Pretty much anyone who has any interest in Grind will agree this album slays.
    If you feel like you don’t understand the appeal of a genre like Grind then don’t review it. In reviewing it, but missing the point, you make yourself sound pretty ignorant and also kind of douchey.

  • i like very much for me is one of the 5 best of the year with enslaved kreator testament and vreid

  • Terrible review. Seems like the reviewer has more of a personal vendetta against their lifestyle choices rather than just plain not liking their music. (This coming from a person who hated their MUSIC until The Harvest Floor) And vegans also piss me off, but I don’t give a goddamn about what a band stands for if they kick ass. And, in this case, they do.

  • Red

    Angry Metal Idiot

  • Sudeb Sarkar

    This is one of the best albums released this year.