The Harvest Floor
posted on 2/2009 By:
At long last, Cattle Decapitation has done it. They've made an album where the songwriting lives up to the ebulliently grotesque image and vivicidal (decidedly anti-human) lyricism. And perhaps they're not entirely anti-human (I mean, they were nice enough to make salsa for Johnny Orlando, Jr., so they can't be all bad), but they brandish enough pro-animal fervor to make Ingrid Newkirk look like a chuffing idiot. Okay, so maybe that's not terribly hard to do, but the point is, Cattle Decap(itation) have upped their game immensely.
The name of Cattle Decap's game has been grind-to-death deathgrind, and it wasn't terribly memorable if it weren't for the off-the-wall song titles and immense hatred for their species (statement necessary to include phrase "Bukkake Tsunami" as much as possible). The Harvest Floor infuses those same ideals of mercilessly slaughtering humans and subjecting them to innovative torture machines, but we now see them embracing the bombast and flair that their Colorado brethren Cephalic Carnage have been employing the past few albums. Cattle Decap is still a deathgrind band at its core, but now they're using the haunting tremolo chords of black metal, progressive clean guitar passages, and affording themselves opportunities stretching far beyond the confines of grindcore.
The most notable cuts on the album are its opener and closer(s), "The Gardeners of Eden" and the (sort-of) two-part title track and "Regret & the Grave" respectively. "Gardeners" showcases frontman Travis Ryan chummifying twisted vocal patterns and rolling thunder growls, but the tri-tone shrieks over chunky melodic guitar riffs make the song virulently mesmerizing. "Regret..." is a romanticized look at the destruction of earth by the hands of, well, us, and the reversal of fortune for the animals we've enslaved and feasted upon (like we didn't see that one coming). However, both "Regret" and the title track feature two unexpected elements: a swooning cello cuts through the production like a knife, and Jarboe's guest appearance featuring her ghoulish wails darkens the mood for our inevitable decimation.
I think we expected a bit of progression from Karma.Bloody.Karma. given its more melodic tendencies than its predecessors. But unlike Karma.Bloody.Karma, The Harvest Floor fully realizes Cattle Decap's potential. And that's something I'm glad I can finally say for Cattle Decap after so many years of dedicated listening.
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