19 years, 6 uncompromising albums out already and another on the way, Cattle Decapitation are certainly a force to be reckoned with. Following up the monumentally heavy and brutal “Monolith to Inhumanity” which was released in 2012, “The Anthropocene Extinction”, the San Diego based quartet plan to continue being one of the most invitational and brutally extreme death metal bands out there. Let’s not delay this any longer, let’s welcome this extinction already.
From the off, this album grabs you by the throat and squeezes as tight as it possibly can. Smothering you with a relentless wall of noise, the opening track “Manufactured Extinct” hits hard and builds up into a fast paced, ferocious display of death metal. Harsh vocals, thundering bass, meaty guitars and relentless drums all combine to make a maelstrom of intense proportions and from there, it does not let up until the second to last track of the album.
The variety of vocal styles, from harsh death metal growls to almost tortured raspy screams to haunting melodic and harsh ‘clean’ singing sits well with the music beneath it, adding an extra dimension to the sound. The music itself is as you would expect. Complex riffs played with incredible precision cascade into colossal heavy grooves and in the moments where there are some elements of melodic playing, it has a very sinister and ominous feel to it. Rhythm section wise, the bass is deep and pounding whilst the drums continue to blast away when they aren’t systematically crushing you with heavy and complex patterns. It’s a very technical and brutal sound and it just works brilliantly.
Tracks like “Plagueborne”, “Circo Inhumanitas” and “Mutual Assured Destruction” are relentlessly intense whilst the twin onslaught of “The Burden Of Seven Billion” into “Mammals In Babylon” has a very powerful and damning feel to it, especially how the ominous sample based “Burden” builds up the mood for the evil sounding “Mammals”. The highlight of the album though has to be the penultimate tracks – “Apex Blasphemy” which goes straight into the haunting “Ave Exitium”. Furious to begin with, this twin track onslaught mixes the intensity and pace from the quicker approach to death metal before shifting to more melodic then brutally evil sounding sections at will, throwing in a false finish moment before it goes full on insane for the ending which transitions into samples of waves and wind along a shore. These samples pave the way for the haunting “Ave Exitium” which is filled with swelling synths, eerie sounding clean arpeggios and sinister sounding clean vocals which give a real sense of anticipation for how the album is going to end.
My only criticism of this release is the final track “Pacific Grim”. Whilst it is a classic slice of technical and brutal death metal, it would have perhaps been better suited to being the track before the wonderful twin onslaught of “Apex” into “Ave”. Whilst it does explode to life after the hauntingly slow Ave, it just doesn’t flow right to me, but it still closes the album strong.
On the whole, this album is everything you would expect from Cattle Decapitation. Brutal, intense, relentless, frantic and chaotic, it shows why Cattle Decapitation are so revered in the Death Metal genre and it certainly proves why “The Anthroposcene Extinction” is one of this year’s most highly anticipated death metal releases. Don’t be surprised to see this release in many “top albums of 2015” lists towards the end of this year. If the extinction of mankind had a soundtrack, expect this album to be part of it.