CATTLE DECAPITATION is one of those bands that I personally think is much better witnessed live. Travis’ antics and unbelievable vocals really shine, and the whole band really is just a burst of primal energy. For some reason, they are never really able to translate their live energy into an album.
Before “The Harvest Floor”, the only material by CATTLE DECAPITATION I had actually enjoyed was their “Human Jerky” EP and a few songs off of “To Serve Man”. Has my opinion changed? Not really.
CATTLE DECAPITATION has definitely gotten more melodic since their early days of CARCASS and REPULSION worship. The production is clean; everything is heard well and is balanced. The instrumental skills, in particular the drumming, have vastly improved. The problem is these supposed positive aspects really suck the life out of the music. What CATTLE DECAP needs is a rawer production and shorter songs. This is supposed to be Grindcore, but really this just winds up sounding like Death Metal (at times Melodic Death Metal). I even detect flourishes of this new noodly technical-for-the-sake of it Death Metal (NECROPHAGIST, ARSIS, etc) that CATTLE DECAP have incorporated into their sound. Yuck. The one thing that has stayed constant are the lyrics, which I have always enjoyed. A funny aside, at times, Travis actually sounds like he is mimicking a pig, perhaps a piss take on all of the scene kids who seem to love CATTLE DECAPITATION for reasons unknown (I suspect it’s because the drummer of THE LOCUST used to be in the band, other than that I haven’t a clue).
Is this a bad album? No, it isn’t, but apart from some parts in “A Body Farm” and “Tooth Enamel and Concrete” (which begins with a really yummy sample), I don’t really recall any of the songs. This album went in one ear and out the other. A shame really, this band has so much potential but they always wind up leaving me with a musical equivalent of blue balls.
(As an afterthought, I’ve always loved this band’s album artwork, and this one is no exception. Pretty bleak picture.)
(Online March 7, 2009)