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CD review: CATTLE DECAPITATION, "The Harvest Floor"

Posted on February 16, 2009

cattle_decapitation_-_the_harvest_floor1Shouldn't these guys have exhausted their formula by now? CATTLE DECAPITATION's grindcore/death metal format doesn't leave much room for growth, and they're still drilling listeners with the relentlessly misanthropic/pro vegan themes that first distinguished them from their Metal Blade compatriots. Singer TRAVIS RYAN still enunciates like a prolonged belch. And yet, Cattle Decapitation's latest full-length is the first great metal record of 2009, and the one for fans getting their first taste of Cattle to pick up.

JOSH ELMORE’s frenetic, herky-jerky guitar playing may be The Harvest Floor's strongest weapon, choking death metal measures out of “The Body Farm” and “The Product Alive” while noob drummer DAVID MACGROW punctuates every track with a series of controlled rolls and A.D.D. fills. “Into the Public Bath” showcases a mathmetal edge under vocals that actually do sound like cookie monster, and even the most metallic moments (“The Ripe Beneath the Rind,” “We are Horrible People”) have a vaguely alternative tint that could endear them to noise-rock and sludge metal fans. Standout “The Gardeners of Eden” throws a melodic chorus into some of the best start/stop rhythms of the band’s career, bridging NAPALM DEATH and SYSTEM OF A DOWN into something likely to petrify several clubs packed with death metal kids. Closing with a foreboding instrumental and the relatively tuneful grinder “Regret and the Grave,” The Harvest Floor is likely to exhaust your neck and your listening devices.

Buy it/burn it/chuck it scale: Buy

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