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CATTLE DECAPITATION Terrasite

By Peter Atkinson, Contributor
Monday, May 15, 2023 @ 10:09 AM


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CATTLE DECAPITATION
Terrasite

Metal Blade Records




When last we left CATTLE DECAPITATION, in those carefree days before COVID and Russian invasions and such, the band was closing out its “Anthropocene Extinction” trilogy with 2019’s Death Atlas – and tunes like “Bring Back The Plague” and “One Day Closer To The End of the World” that seemed like the usual misanthropic tropes at the time until, well, all that actually started to happen for real.

The album wrapped with mankind– lovingly described in 2012’s Monolith of Inhumanity as “A Living, Breathing Piece of Defecating Meat” – having finally gone and destroyed itself after turning Earth into a toxic shitpile. “Carbon-based life forms reset to day one”, the Death Atlas title track offered almost gleefully, as its told-you-so mantra repeats “We deserve everything that’s coming” over and over. Because, yeah, we really do. People are the fucking worst.

So, Mother Earth finally got her revenge, end of story. Right? Well, not quite. From death comes new life, and in CATTLE DECAPITATION’s latest effort the compost that mankind had become in Death Atlas proves fertile ground for the rebirth of something even worse – a new breed (us again in more insectoid form) intent on devouring the planet itself. Or something along those lines.

Terrasite, which takes its title from a word created by frontman Travis Ryan to describe this post-Anthropocene world-eating species, is the band’s 10th album. And though from a thematic standpoint it speaks to rebirth and metamorphosis – albeit it at its most twisted, horrific and destructive - it doesn’t so much mark a rebirth for CATTLE DECAPITATION itself as reinforce the notion that it remains at the top of its game, even as it treads familiar ground.

Musically, it’s in keeping with much of what the band has done since 2009’s The Harvest Floor, when CATTLE took things to whole new level after a decade as a gore-grind curiosity. Terrasite offers a dizzying tumult of technical death-grind powered by David McGraw’s superhuman drumming and topped by Ryan’s multiple-personality urping/shrieking/screaming/growling caterwaul punctuated by the odd “goblin” croons. Add Josh Elmore and Belisario Dimuzio’s frenzied, shape-shifting riffs, Olivier Pinard’s lithe bass and the ceaseless hectoring about how “people = shit” and voila!

The differences here are largely subtle and, in some cases, can easily get lost amid the turbulence of CATTLE’s signature intensity. After the blitzkrieg opening trio of “Terrasitic Adaptation”, “We Eat Our Young” and “Scourge Of The Offspring”, there are pronounced moments of melody here and there, notably in the anthemic swells of “The Storm Upstairs” and “…And The World Will Go On Without You”. The doomy outro to “The Insignificants” and haunting chants in “Solastalgia” offer a fleeting sense of melancholy amid all the rage while the electronic/synth flourishes on “A Photic Doom” and, especially, “Dead End Residents” lend a symphonic texture and grace.

“Just Another Body” provides another epic finale, a la “Death Atlas”. But it’s somewhat more measured delivery,from the piano opening to its ample synths and variety of vocal treatments, over its 10-minute sprawl make it quite poignant – at least by CATTLE DECAPITATION standards – conveying anguish instead of the usual disdain.

With Terrasite, the band essentially holds serve. The material lives up to the arguably high standards of the Anthropocene efforts without any notable stumbles or regression. By the same token, there is not much actual progression here – though the refinements are generally a welcome touch. CATTLE’s impeccable performance and continued penchant for extremity keep things interesting and ensure the end result is as potent as ever. Not sure feasting off this same carcass would yield similar results next time, but we can worry about that then – if we’re all still around for that to happen.

4.0 Out Of 5.0


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