Cattle Decapitation - Monolith of Inhumanity (Metal Blade)

Full length number seven from the US deathgrinders is as subtle and as understated as ever.
Release Date: 
7 May 2012 - 11:30pm

You'd be forgiven for taking Cattle Decapitation with a pinch of salt. The band has one of the daftest names in metal and song titles such as Gristle Licker on their latest outing, Monolith of Inhumanity, sound like they have been dreamt up by sniggering schoolboys. But beyond the silly buggery, Cattle Decapitation are as serious and brutal as metal gets.

There's a well-documented history of controversy surrounding the band, who's lyrical themes address issues of animal mistreatment and the environment, with horrifically epic album covers leading to the odd ban here and there. However, fluff aside and in terms of pure musical execution Cattle Decapitation have produced a piece of absolute extreme genius in Monolith.

Opening with the furious, insanely grinding Carbon Stampede and the bonkers Dead Set On Suicide, the third song is the catchily-titled Living Breathing Defecating Piece of Meat which has an astonishingly catchy singalong chorus (although frontman Travis Ryan does have a tendency to sound a little like Noddy Holder in places). Despite the inevitable fast-paced predictability, Cattle Decapitation throw in slower, almost melodic elements that add a number of unexpected layers to the album.

Drummer Dave McGraw holds the whole anti-meat collective together with skinsmanship that is nothing short of superhuman and the downtuned riffing from Josh Elmore and bassist Dave Engemann fuses together to create the proverbial walls of noise. But despite being savagely heavy, this album has moments that fans of thrash and groove metal would easilly be able to get on board with.

Although one of the heaviest deathgrind albums of late, Monolith is wonderfully accesible and makes you desperate to see a Cattle Decapitation show; from the ridiculous musicianship to the catchy singalongs, this is one of the finest, heaviest, nastiest album of the year. The music is a statement which may not be elegant but fuck me, it sure as hell can't be ignored.