San Diego death grinders Cattle Decapitation have returned with Monolith of Inhumanity, their seventh full length release (and fifth with Metal Blade Records). The album shows quite a bit of growth as the band pulls out an occasional melodic riff and several attempts to include melodic vocals. Although it’s a bit of a stretch to expect screamer Travis Ryan to drop the shrieks and adopt a melodic style, it is nice to hear a bit more than just deep growls.
The Monolith is an outstanding moody track that seems more like something Marilyn Manson would record, but it gives Cattle Decapitation a chance to have their words heard, rather than growled. Ryan gets to add a bit of theatrics to the lyrics with his less brutal attack on the words.
The other notable song is the albums lead track The Carbon Stampede, which mixes some of those afore mentioned melodic riffs with an all out power assault. Kudos to drummer Dave McGraw, who shows no signs of slowing (literally!). It’s also a good debut for the newest member, bassist Derek Engemann, who makes his recording debut with the band. The bass in death metal is an often forgotten and neglected instrument, but Engemann makes his presence known when the band slows down from time to time.
It’s often exciting when death and grindcore metal bands add some melody and slower song elements in the song arrangements, like Cattle Decapitation has done here. It gives new fans a chance to explore the meaning of the words, especially when a band like this has something to say.