Cattle Decapitation - Monolith Of Inhumanity
Since I first discovered them, up to this very day, I've always been a borderline fan of Cattle Decapitation. At times they impress me heavily, but at others I find myself feeling a little underwhelmed and overburdened by their style and lyrical avenues. To be fair, very few bands have done as much with a foundation of grindcore and very few bands have ever made a name for themselves via idealism. These are self-evident truths, as the band's popularity as climbed to unheard of heights for a band of their sharp extremity. Their previous album, The Harvest Floor, was their best to date for sure, improving upon earlier works with a more clean production, and an impressive, subtle shift towards a more progressive sound. The atmosphere was finally taking center stage, and regardless of my feelings towards their subject matter, it was a treat to feel the painful honesty in their images and words. Monolith Of Inhumanity is their latest effort and, fully meeting my expectations, it furthers those promising first steps of The Harvest Floor down a path of slightly more streamlined grind, augmented with bits of technical death, thrash and black metal. Shots in the dark of an experimental nature, and an abundance of atmospheric depth all combine to make it one hell of a listen.
Each of Monolith's 11 tracks is a testament to the fundamental principles of Cattle Decapitation's collective beliefs in regards to humanity as a whole. I urge anyone tempted to listen to seek out a lyric sheet, as the occasionally unintelligible words are one of the album's strongest selling points. A word to the wise, however; the pure hatred and vile nature of the lyrics may leave you overwhelmed. This is simply a consequence of the strength of the band's conviction, and furthers the impact of the entire album by leaps and bounds. As for the music proper, there are a multitude of truly standout moments to be discovered. Some of my personal favorites include pretty much every track with a notably melodic chorus; "Living, Breathing Piece of Defecating Meat", "Lifestalker" (the album's best track IMO), "Your Disposal" (A very close 2nd place in that running) and "Kingdom of Tyrants". But, unlike every other Cattle Decapitation album before it, there truly isn't a so-so track to be found this time around. At the absolute top of their game, superb production, intense focus on a living, breathing atmosphere of nihilistic hatred for the ignorant, parasitic nature of a large amount of humankind...it all results in the pinnacle of the band's career to date.
The evolution of Cattle Decapitation has brought them to, as far as I can tell, the forefront of modern metal of any and all subgenres. Their style has fully taken on a more universal approach; while fully rooted in their grind foundation, branching into something more abstract and appealing. Monolith of Inhumanity is one of the best albums I've dug into in quite some time, easily the band's best to date and a solid candidate for my top 10 of the year. I just can't imagine many other records impressing me as much as this one has.
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