Cattle Decapitation - Humanure
Silvercloud & Bvtthole Studios
Death Metal
11 songs (47:27)
Release year: 2004
Cattle Decapitation
Reviewed by Crash
Archive review

Cattle Decapitation is a band I can always depend on. They stick out in many ways from the rest of the death metal contemporary. For one, it is impossible to even mention their name in public without someone bringing up the “vegan metal” thing. Whether or not they even want this label pushed on them I do not know, but it only adds to the alienating sound they have. Travis Ryan always seems to be directing his hatred towards you, the listener. This gives me a cool vibe as a typical death metal band sounds like Glen Benton saying “That Christ guy was a dick amirite?” I feel like whatever team I am on, Cattle Decap aren’t on it. Josh Elmore is also a death metal guitar wizard unique among fellow six string slingers in the death metal scene. He does not tune down and bury the mix with chunk. His playing is more focused with complicated riffage and schizophrenic solos. Their last record The Harvest Floor damn near blew me away and they put on one hell of a live show to boot.

But I find myself returning to Humanure more often that I thought I would. It is not their best record, but it has the best flow. While they could use help in the songwriting department structure wise, they have an unmistakably unique sound and I find that it is best represented here. The album cover, the lyrics, and the sound all culminate in a very gross record. This is the kind of album that you don’t show your girlfriend until she has gotten used to the other stuff you listen to.

Anyone that has ever heard the band knows what to expect: Incredibly fast and technical death metal with lyrics about how awful mankind is. Many songs blend into each other due to the little variation but this rarely is a problem. Most of the time the riffs are catchy enough that you will pick up favorite songs just by listening to the whole record from start to finish. Right now I can tell you that while I first couldn’t tell a song apart from my first listens, the main riff of Chummified is just plain awesome, full of bite and catchy as balls. The title track, Reduced to Paste, and the amazingly titledBukkake Tsunami aren’t far behind, all kicking ass in their own right. Applied Human Defragmentation might have to take the crown here though. While not the most instantly likable song, it offers the most in terms of variation and progression. The band has a tendency to get lost in their chaos and the truly most remarkable moments in their songs is when they lay down a groove and stick with it. This song and moments in all of the others listed especially benefit from this. The band would benefit even more if they saved the chaos for when it counted, not the other way a round.

That being said, Cattle Decapitation share a very organic sound. This may just be me reading into the vegan thing, but something about their production continually impresses me. There is not a kick drum hit on this album that sounds triggered or a snare hit overly emphasized. The bass is barely audible, matching the drums and providing a true rhythm section so that Elmore can just fuck off and do what he wants. But the making of breaking of the band for most people depends entirely on Travis Ryan’s vocals. Listening to his voice, you’d imagine him to be a big bearded sweaty oaf of a man covered in snot and phlegm. If you have ever seen a Cattle Decap show this would be exactly what’d you see. He sounds like he looks like he smells like pee. For me, this means great death metal.

It is funny to look back at the first splits like Ten Torments of the Damned or Homovore and wonder if this is the same band that once played chaotic blast of grindcore. Well, it’s not. There are no original members in the lineup and only the band name continues to remind us of the growth of their idea. Humanure was the first real breakthrough for the band and while this is not their best album it is easily their most essential.

Killing Songs :
All of the ones I listed, but Chummified and Applied Human Defragmentation should be listened to right now!
Crash quoted 84 / 100
Other albums by Cattle Decapitation that we have reviewed:
Cattle Decapitation - The Anthropocene Extinction reviewed by Goat and quoted 82 / 100
Cattle Decapitation - Monolith Of Inhumanity reviewed by Goat and quoted 91 / 100
Cattle Decapitation - The Harvest Floor reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
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