Death Atlas, by Cattle Decapitation
Suggested by Craig Jones
Sarah and I are budding vegetarians.
It’s a recent development, and it sees us dropping from a meaty meal every day to an attempt at zero meat on the week. Having Googled a plan to wean away the flesh, we’ve adopted the Four Legs, Two Legs, No Legs approach. So far, we’re on the Four Legs stage, looking to remove all four-legged meats from our diet as best we can. We don’t always succeed, but we’re doing our best, and we aren’t beating ourselves up if we slip. Next stop is removing all two-legged meat, which should be easier than the four-legged cull. The no-legged stage should be easiest of all.
As we’re at the start of our journey, we’re ad-libbing our way through mealtime. We’ve yet to try a true vegetarian recipe from scratch, instead concentrating of plan-based substitutions for the meats in our favourite meals. So we’re eating veggie sausages, plant-based kebabs, soya roasts, and fake-on. We’ve plans to move onto more home-spun recipes soon, which will hopefully kickstart our resolve and boost us to the next level.
Despite their gruesome name, Cattle Decapitation, an American deathgrind band, are all about Animal Welfare. Their mission statement, on creation at least, was to protect the tasty animals from harm. Their original lineup was entirely vegetarian, although nowadays only two forsake the flesh. The band concentrate their lyrics and music on the mistreatment of animals, along with environmental abuse, misanthropy and genocide.
It’s a good thing that the band state this overtly, because it’d take an inhuman act of comprehension to deduce anything by listening to the bilious filth they are peddling as music.
In theory, Deathgrind fuses Death Metal and Grindcore, inspired by abrasive musical styles. As we peel away the onion layers, we find words like Thrashcore and Crust Punk bandied around as we click Wikilink after Wikilink, watching the genre descriptions go Full Mandelbrot. In reality, the Deathgrind produced by Cattle Decapitation is, ironically, complete and utter bullsh*t.
The songs on this album have the fastest drumming I’ve ever heard, presenting as an angry buzz or masonry drill. The stringed instruments are harsh and challenging, and so furious that you can’t see where the cacophony ends and the music begins. The vocals? Two growl styles, a deep and throaty croak and a nasal and demonic chitter, playing point and counterpoint, sounding like a gremlin f**king a bassoon.
While the neutral resting state of most albums is silence, between the tracks and at times in the songs themselves, it feels like Death Atlas tracks try to bring some grim musicality to proceedings, but each song eventually trends towards a bellowing rasp-fart scream.
Admittedly, there is a little intrigue in places. The opening track, for example, is a swirling intro piece with a transmission-style broadcast vocal, and The Great Dying Parts 1 and 2 are similarly ambient and narrative. And each song does have distinct peaks and troughs, waxing and waning at the whim of the band. My standout song, track two’s The Geocide, begins with a jaunty bludgeoning that made me laugh out loud. However, so much of this is literal white noise that it’s completely unsalvageable.
Death Atlas gets 2/10. Fans of the genre will likely think it peerless, but fans of the genre are broken.