Review Summary: BROOTALITY
Gimmicky and generic, Cattle Decapitation started out as just another laughable gore-grind-death band, longing to be recognized for excellent death metal, not just the gimmicky mishmash of most of their counterparts. Slowly but surely they started becoming more and more of a real metal band, as opposed to just an artificial gore group, taking in more and more death metal influence and lessening their indulgence on grind. With The Harvest Floor
, Cattle Decapitation essentially rids themselves of 99% of their gore grind influence and become a full-fledged death metal group.
The Harvest Floor
still isn’t perfect though. Although the band is no longer gimmicky, they’ve become brutally generic in the process. Excluding the occasional breakdown and ambient section, they’ve essentially become this sort of techy, heavy blasting death metal group along the veins of Cannibal Corpse, with more Suffocation style structuring abilities.
But despite becoming generic, Cattle Decapitation still knows how to fu
cking shred shi
apart. This is mostly apparent throughout the first six tracks. “The Gardeners of Eden” starts out with the sound of cow slaughter, and leads into a Cryptopsy-style piercing bass intro, and leads into a heavy assortment of the usual cunt smashing death metal riffs and blast beats, with the addition of absolutely awesome vocals from Travis Ryan. Simply put, Travis Ryan has always been the highlight of Cattle Decapitation, with his fast paced, low pitched, grueling growls and mid pitched, grind-esque screeches.
But then after this quick, murderous pace of riffs, we stop and get wrapped up in an ambient stop gate. That’s essentially the only real problem with this album, since it interrupts a fast and furious stream of great riffs and vocals and leads to generic ambient doodling and occasionally the chug chug breakdown here and there. It just shatters whatever is still there. The worst part about this is that is that Cattle Decapitation incorporates it so much that they even use it for an entire track of just pure ambiance. The title track is essentially every boring ambient bit of this album mooshed together and made into an ever so slowly trudging and building piece that, although transcending and ever moving, moves too slow for the casual listener searching for some listeners. At over three minutes,it just moves along like a slug.
But that doesn’t ruin the album’s best parts, it’s still death metal at its truest. No overly technical noodling like that of Necrophagist here, just true-to-the-art, 80s-90s style Death Metal that occasionally resorts to breakdowns and ambience when it really shouldn’t need to. The Harvest Floor
is a good album, even great at moments, but it just doesn’t do much to diversify itself from the crowd. It adds too much cheesy ambient or “quiet” sections. If you want something that reminds you of the good ol’ days of death metal, this is for you, but beware if you dislike breakdowns in your CD.