Cattle Decapitation

The Harvest Floor

Written by: PP on 28/01/2009 17:31:41

Cattle Decapitation's previous album "Karma.Bloody.Karma" already impressed me with its utterly chaotic brutality that had the odd bit of melody appearing in places, but "The Harvest Floor" is seriously fucking immense. It is a full-blown expansion from the traditional technical deathgrind into an unknown territory, into something much, much better. "The Harvest Floor" is not just more proficient technically but it contains overwhelmingly better songwriting, as if all members in the band suddenly clicked after the addition of a new drummer (Dave McGraw) to create an extreme metal masterpiece, a record that transcends the psychological border between "this music is too extreme for me" and "this music is too extreme...but holy fucking shit this is awesome", a record that is without a doubt the culmination of Cattle Decapitation's career.

That may be a bold statement, but already the first track "The Gardeners of Eden" justifies it entirely, as crushing technical death metal immerses into Between The Buried And Me-styled progressive passages where melody meets brutality in a grotesquely immaculate manner. Squealing growls, monstrous roaring, satanic's all there, wrapped in a majestic, dare I say an epic soundscape, where a misanthropic mood is omnipresent. Remember that Cattle Decapitation has always promoted animal rights and vegetarianism, and the anti-human, pro-animal lyrical work stands out on "The Harvest Floor" as well. By pro-animal, I mean that to this band, cows = people.

The precision and timing of the guitarists is unfathomably incredible, take "The Ripe Beneath The Rind" as a great example: the song prowesses unbelievable speed insect sounding guitars normally associated with Psyopus, but we may have a new winner in the fastest shredder category that previously belonged to the said band based on this song alone. I played it to my girlfriend and asked what she thought about it, and she said: "Satan's noise", and left the room instantly.

Pretty much the only finger-pointing possible is to criticize the production, which at times comes across as slightly sloppy (see "A Body Farm" for an example), so a set of good headpones is a MUST to appreciate the detailed sound thoroughly. If the production was crystal clear, "The Harvest Floor" could have been indescribably good. As it stands now, the album still pushes the boundaries of death metal / grindcore / deathgrind or whatever you wanna call it into realms I didn't think were possible for the genre. In short, this album is fucking crazy and extreme, but it still manages to captivate me with it's incredible structure and songwriting in the 37 minutes that it lasts.


Download: We Are Horrible People, The Gardeners Of Eden, Ripe Beneath The Rind
For the fans of: Psyopus, Cephalic Carnage, Between The Buried And Me, The Dillinger Escape Plan
Listen: Myspace

Release date 20.01.2009
Metal Blade

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