Cattle Decapitation return after 4 years with a new lineup and their bleakest offering to date.
It’s no secret that I’ve been very excited in the build up to this album – It grabbed my attention very early on with the release of the cover art which has a different look & feel to the band’s previous releases, I mean it has a stooped skeletal Grim Reaper carrying the burnt out husk of planet earth on his back! since then it’s safe to say that I have wanted to find out everything I could about the album – I’ve spent countless hours watching various videos by producer of the album Dave Otero covering vocal , guitar recording as well as the gear used to piece Death Atlas together
So far 3 tracks have been released as well as the short film, ‘The Unreasonable Past‘. The concept of Death Atlas from vocalist Travis Ryan himself is ”humanity’s insignificance’ – The album cover ‘takes place in space to remind you that the universe always finds a way to purge’. In the grand scheme of things, our species is merely a fleeting thought’
So with that knowledge in advance I was still ready (or so I thought) to experience Death Atlas in it’s entirety – The opener & intro Anthropogenic: End Transmission sounds like it was written for the first John Wick movie then straight into start of almost a trilogy of brutality with the tracks The Geocide, Be Still Our Bleeding Hearts & my personal favourite track of the album Vulturous we then get a huge gear shift with The Great Dying which knowing the concept of the album makes it even more distressing normal service is resumed with One Day Closer to the End of the World which was the first taster of what we would be getting – this track for me highlights not only Travis’s vocal range but almost enforces that view the gap for recording with new members Olivier Pinard (bass) and Belisario Dimuzio (guitar) really helped develop their musical connection as a band. Bring Back the Plague & Absolute Destitute are next in the offering The Great Dying II creeps in subliminally leaving the slower Finish Them to lull you back in before With All Disrespect & Times Cruel Curtain force you back to the misery of the very real message of the album if you aren’t already thinking about the future by this point The Unerasable Past with it’s stark, raw emotion really hits the reality home
Lastly, the nine-plus minute closing title track – Death Atlas is probably the most ambitious track of the bands career to date and honestly don’t think the band couldn’t have closed this chapter in any other way.
In all honesty this album is a distressing, heartbreaking primal mind fuck with a strong message & clear warning through it’s sheer brutality. I love the concept although bleak as it is I find myself taking away something different every time I listen to it but at the same time losing a part of myself.
This for me has to be not a contender for, but my album of the year hands down. One of the main reasons not is only fantastic musically but I have never cried of felt so emotional writing a review before, until now…
5 out of 5 luminous spheroids of plasma held together by their own gravity
Death Atlas will be available via Metal Blade Records on 29th November