After releasing a collection of unreleased tracks and special recordings of music nearly exactly 12 months ago in the form of Medium Rarities, America Extreme Metal legends Cattle Decapitation return after their longest period between studio albums to bring the follow up to the 2015 studio release The Anthropocene Extinction and the seventh full length studio album release in the form of Death Atlas.
The band have never been one to shy away from real-life issues, especially when it comes to the relationship between the natural world and the human race and Death Atlas is no different. In what is being described by many as an immediate threat to our survival, the Brutal Death Metallers have created a severe reality check for those unsure of what may happen as the earth prepares to cleanse itself.
As the album opens with ‘Anthropogenic: End Transmission’ we are introduced in various languages to the album in a call to arms, before ‘The Geocide’ comes along and uppercuts you into next week with its ferocious wall of sound and then we really start to get the feel for the musical side of the album. The gruff and aggressive vocal is matched by the shattering sounds and then to mix things up we get the chugging guitars and the extreme yet clean vocal comes for a play. The changes in speed and the technicality are off the charts already and we are only on track 2!
As the album progresses the seamless transition between outright brutality and gloriously calming melodies is something to behold.
The blast beats continue to punish the ears as the guitars slash and chop away at everything you think is possible, all whilst the vocal is changing styles and attacking from different angles as the potential future is narrated in this brutal offering.
Death Atlas lasts around 55 minutes and spans 14 tracks, all of which are of the highest calibre and incorporate all emotions and influences as they span Death Metal, Doom, Black Metal and Grindcore to name a few, however the transition between the style is so subtle that you don’t necessarily realise straight away and then suddenly you realise that you are caught up in a different beat and style.
The album closer ‘Death Atlas’ is the perfect example of this smooth progression between styles whilst still maintaining the extreme brutality.
This album is a serious contender for Album Of The Year and somehow gets better with each listen. As I write this review the only thing that excites me more than listening to the album is the fact that this morning it has been announced that Cattle Decapitation will be at Bloodstock Festival in 2020, so I get to hear some of the album live.
Death Atlas is released Friday 29th November 2019 via Metal Blade Records.
Anthropogenic: End Transmission
Be Still Our Bleeding Hearts
The Great Dying
One Day Closer to the End of the World
Bring Back the Plague
The Great Dying II
With All Disrespect
Time’s Cruel Curtain
The Unerasable Past