"The Anthropocene Extinction"
Reviewed by : Sean "The Asian Invasion" Harris
I recently interviewed Cattle in Armstrong, British Columbia and they shared many incites to the soon to be released "The Anthropocene Extinction." They really wanted to focus on not being hammered down and labelled into one specific sub-genre. They have mostly death metal and grindcore at the forefront but they have so many other amazing aspects to them that they truly are unable to place in a specific spot in the metal spectrum.
Dave Otero from Flatline Audio was at the helm once again for this recording. He, almost as much as anyone, needs to be given major props. He has done a masterful job with this record. Everything sounds so dark, atmospheric and you can tell he really puts everything into helping release a masterpiece such as this.
Travis Ryan is a name that has become a regularity at the top of pretty much anyone's top vocalists lists. He's unbelievably versatile and does things behind the mic that seem humanly impossible. The growls, screams, gutturals and every technique that he's mastered are front and center on Anthropocene.
'Manufactured Extinct', 'The Prophets of Loss' and 'Plagueborne' are a podium for him to show his intense ability and talent, but so is every other track. The melodic highs, the growling lows and everything in between are all sheer perfection. The man is a wordsmith with lyrics, and death metal in general has someone to really hold our heads up high at and appreciate that he is the flag bearer for extreme metal vocals.
Phil Anselmo and Author and Punisher make fantastic guest appearances, as well as Jurgen Bartsch from Bethlehem, who does a demonic spoken word part on the album ending ripper, 'Pacific Grim'.
'Clandestine Ways (Krokodil Rot)' is my absolute favorite track on the album. Everything melds together so perfectly. Bassist Derek Engemann particularly proves his chops with some very memorable bass lines. He was a stalwart on the last release too, with 'Lifestalker', another one of my favorites. He literally kills his bass on Anthropocene and he has the skills to pay the bills.
My buddy Josh Elmore, who not only has beautiful dogs, but also knows a thing or ten about writing super heavy and crushing riffs. The crunch is off the charts but the melody still exists; this man commands his fret board and it obeys him at every strum. The solos are noodly, pinch harmonicy fun and he adds that signature bite that Cattle is so well known for.
What more can I say about Dave McGraw? Only that he's one of the absolute best drummers in metal and has that serious "oh my god" factor when you listen to him. The stuff he pulls off is mind numbing. The double strokes on the pedals, the blast beats and the overall annihilating of the kit makes you think if he has extra limbs or not. 'Mutual Assured Destruction' and 'Apex Blasphemy' are another couple of standout tracks where he shines so brightly.
Oh, and the track 'Ave Exitium'. They make acoustic guitar, clean vocals and one drum beat sound completely disgusting. Only Cattle Decapitation can pull off true beauty like that.
August 7 is the release date on Metal Blade Records. Buy it. It'll be the best decision of your life since buying their last album.
A perfect 5 / 5 from me. Truly brilliant work. A game changer.
You can catch my show, Monday Metal Mayhem, every Monday at 8 pm pst only on brokenneckradio.com .