Cattle Decapitation – The Anthropocene Extinction

Last week I was out of town, this week I’ve been really sick, so I’ve been sleeping in my spare time instead of listening to anything new. I’ll keep this short, because I’m still pretty out of it.

I know Cattle Decapitation’s last album, Monolith of Inhumanity, was pretty universally praised. I know I listened to it, but I honestly don’t remember it very much. I wanted to keep it that way going into The Anthropocene Extinction to not skew my view and constantly compare to it.

This album is one of the most relentlessly brutal I’ve listened to this year. Most of it is fast, but not in a too-fast-all-the-time so as to be boring way. Almost every song slows down into a groove and layers semi-clean melodic vocals into the mix. The also show off excellent technical proficiency at times but have the maturity to exercise restraint at others.

The vocals are hit or miss. Some of the melodic content works well and has some interesting contours to the motion. Other parts feel forced, like they needed a melodic section and couldn’t really come up with something interesting, so they put some notes together that were in the right key without thinking about the overall structure of the melody.

Also, because of the melodic sections, I think some riffs took a back seat. There are sections where every instrument serves as an accompaniment to the vocals which turns the song into a rock feel.

This album is at its best when it all comes together: fast, technical, chaotic, melodic. The soloing is wild and infrequent, the way I like it. Despite the above complaints, they are on most of the time, which makes the less good parts stick out more. It sounds like a lot of complaints, but I’m going to keep this in rotation for a while.

Overall, it does feel a bit formulaic, but I applaud that they’ve found their own formula instead of being poor copycats of older bands. They do their own thing and do it well. I give it an 8/10.

Here’s a sample: