Scrawl from The Saw’s Butcher Shop: Cattle Decapitation — Terrasite (2023) ALBUM REVIEW

Welcome to The Saw’s Butcher Shop! It’s Your Master Butcher, The Saw! And you already know that Ya Girl is a huge fan of Cattle Decapitation. The old school death-grind masters have been a favorite of mine for many years, but especially since their awesome 2019 release, Death Atlas (Metal Blade). That’s why I was excited when, on May 12, 2023, the kings dropped their new album, Terrasite (Metal Blade)! Cat Decap’s evolution continues, and so does humanity’s according to the band’s dark commentary of planet earth.

We have discussed the two singles that Cattle Decapitation dropped leading up to the release of Terrasite. We also discussed in those two Single Reviews how the band’s sound continues to evolve. This evolution was controversial for many fans when comparing Death Atlas to the band’s previous work (for example: 2015’s acclaimed, The Anthropocene Extinction [Metal Blade]). However, I think one can clearly hear Cattle Decapitation’s evolution throughout their discography – subtle but distinct. They continue to find creative ways to incorporate various aspects of the Metal genre into their sound, to the point that Terrasite is more Death Metal than it is Grindcore, though the grind is still present. And the new album has more new Metal aspects that continue Cat Decap’s evolution and evolutionary sound.

One major transformation brought by Death Atlas, and featured further in Terrasite, is the tactical use of melody. Soaring vocal choruses and melodic tremolo picking on guitars are a beautiful counterweight to the crushing grind and punishing riffs that dominate the album. McGraw’s relentless drum technique – blinding blast-beats and double base – are offset by his own sense of timing on snare, tom, and symbol strikes. Of course, Ryan’s trademark multi-vocal delivery is unmatched, but is another offset to the blistering drum attack. And, on Terrasite, Elmore (lead guitars), Dimuzio (rhythm guitars), and Pinard (bass) have incorporated some wicked and abrasive techniques and styles to really fill-in the thick sound. 

Terrasite further displays Cattle Decapitation as a drums-driven band. But McGraw is tasteful (and often elegant) as he pummels you to death. The brilliant incorporation of more blackened atmospheric fillers (again, offset by brutal, crushing riffs) helps move the instrumentation, as the various genius vocal deliveries steer each song through a labyrinth of emotions. The individual tracks on Terrasite stand alone; one doesn’t get lost in another, but each are distinct and powerful on it’s own merits. For example, While “We Eat Our Young” is one of the most bruising songs on the album, the following track, “Scourge of the Offspring,” isn’t lost as it’s incredible chorus rings through under it’s own power. The well-placed layered gutterals of “The Insignificants” does not take anything away from the cadence of rumbles and roars of “The Storm Upstairs.” “…And the World Will Go on Without You” is a dizzying array of all Cattle Decapitation phases, styles, and expressions. “A Photic Doom” is a vicious beating (check out the new video for this one), but the 10:16 long, “Just Another Body,” is an excellent album closer, with it’s keyboard intro and harmonic atmospheres, and hopeless commentary on humanity’s present situation. 

Terrasite is the next necessary step along Cattle Decapitation’s evolution. It is brilliant! And it continues to set the band apart as distinct and distinguished. While their sound continues to expand, there is no mistaking that Cat Decap is a premier Extreme Metal band that has mastered their expression and sound.

Rating: 10//10!! Genius, musically and lyrically! 

Favorite Songs: We Eat Our Young, The Storm Upstairs, Solastalgia, Just Another Body

Stay Metal,