Review: Cattle Decapitation ‘Terrasite’

First of all, it needs to be said that Terrasite, the new record from anti-human pro-environment death grind legends Cattle Decapitation has, by a long long way, the most disgusting album artwork I’ve ever seen. No amounts of goregrind slaughter scenes will give me the visceral ‘retch’ feeling I did when seeing that thing.

Cattle Decapitation 'Terrasite' Artwork
Cattle Decapitation ‘Terrasite’ Artwork

Christ, the band have often made fairly grim points with their album work before (Humanure had a cow shitting human remains) but this is a new high (low?). Anyway, Terrasite is out now through Metal Blade and is the follow up to their 2021 record, Death Atlas, which had mixed results based on the band’s delve into a more melodic and blackened sound.

If you’ve come across Cattle Decapitation‘s particular brand of vicious death grind before, then Terrasite will not surprise you much to start with. Opener Terrasitic Adaption has a rather grand build to it before the detonation of double kicks explodes into gear. The intensity is full on as expected, Travis Ryan‘s roar is as ferocious as ever but there’s an unexpected level of melody coursing throughout the record as well. That is a legacy of their previous work, but I think this time it has a firmer footing on Terrasite, and it becomes more part of their signature brutality.

Travis Ryan’s roar is as ferocious as ever but there’s an unexpected level of melody coursing throughout the record…

You’d be hard pressed to argue that tracks like The Insignificants and We Eat Our Young aren’t as bug eyed and vicious as the band’s older work but the additions of some cleaner sections give the flavour of Anaal Nathrakh; another band loathe to give a fuck what you think about their intensity and their melody. We may never see another album like Monolith Of Inhumanity from these guys but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing when we’ve got the modern progressive death wizardry of Just Another Body.

There’s something definitely Gojira-esque about the cleaner sections of …And The World Will Go On Without You and the proggy, soaring close of Solastalgia, and despite criticisms of Ryan‘s clean vocals in some places, I think the versatility of his growl/scream/black metal shriek/clean vocal is something to be admired. It refutes any sense of the one dimensional.

We are always ready to decry bands who decide to flavour a successful sound with something different, and I think a lot of people did that with Death Atlas. But we all need to just come clean about Terrasite; this album completely rips. It’s incredibly tight and visceral, keeping that Cattle Decapitation intensity ramped up while giving us much more expansive songwriting. Repetition breeds staleness and complacency and that is something you can’t ever accuse Cattle Decapitation of. Older fans may baulk at the continuation of this trend, but fans of incredible expansive savagery will not go wrong with Terrasite. Just, hold your lunch on that cover. Seriously lads.

Label: Metal Blade Records
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Scribed by: Sandy Williamson