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Album Review: Cattle Decapitation - Terrasite

Review by Brady Moody

Cattle Decapitation is a deathgrind band that formed in 1996 in San Diego, California.

Their music is characterized by its intense, brutal sound and lyrical content that deals with themes such as animal rights, environmentalism, and anti-capitalism.

2002's "To Serve Man" defined their sound - a devastatingly effective blend of grindcore and brutal death metal.

Since then, Cattle Decapitation have continued to evolve and refine their sound, pushing the boundaries of extreme metal with each subsequent release. Now, in 2023, the band has released their eighth studio album, "Terrasite".

Thematically, Terrasite is a concept album that explores humanity's destructive impact on the environment and the consequences of our actions. The lyrics are dense and thought-provoking, delving into topics such as climate change, animal rights, and the perils of industrialization. The band takes a hardline stance against human exploitation of the natural world, and their lyrics are often graphic and confrontational. While this may not be to everyone's taste, the sincerity and conviction with which the band delivers their message is admirable.

Musically, "Terrasite" is a tour de force of extreme metal. The band's trademark sound is in full force, with Travis Ryan's guttural vocals, Josh Elmore's razor-sharp riffs, and Dave McGraw's thunderous drumming all contributing to a relentless assault on the senses. Opening track Terrasitic Adaptation is a perfect demonstration of this viscous onslaught of our ears. However, the band has also incorporated a wider range of influences into their sound. Terrasite isn’t a one trick pony, instead it’s an auditory gallop on The Four Horses of the Apocalypse. The result is an album that is both brutal and atmospheric, with moments of crushing heaviness juxtaposed with moments of eerie beauty.

Lyrically, "Terrasite'' is the band's most ambitious work yet. The album's concept is timely and relevant, dealing with issues such as climate change, social inequality, and the destructive nature of capitalism. However, the band's approach is not preachy or didactic. Instead, they use vivid, often surreal imagery to convey their message. This isn’t some edgy attempt to guilt trip us into feeling remorse for using plastic straws. It’s a bleak commentary on how society has become desensitized to the destruction of the environment.

Overall, "Terrasite" is an outstanding album that showcases Cattle Decapitation's evolution as a band.

They have taken the brutality and intensity of their earlier work and combined it with a wider range of influences and a more ambitious lyrical approach. The result is an album that is both musically and thematically challenging, and one that demands repeated listens to fully appreciate. If you are a fan of extreme metal or if you are looking for an album that addresses the urgent issues of our time, then "Terrasite" is not to be missed.


Photo by Nick Van Vidler


Cattle Decapitation are:

Travis Ryan - All Vocals

Josh Elmore - Lead Guitar

Belisario Dimuzio - Rhythm Guitar

Olivier Pinard - Bass

David McGraw - Drums

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