Cattle Decapitation – Terrasite

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California’s progressive death metal/grindcore five-piece Cattle Decapitation is back with a brand-new album “Terrasite” out on May 12th, 2023 via Metal Blade Records. The tenth endeavor represents significant sonic complexity and tracks in hyperspeed. While the previous album “Death Atlas” had a theme of apocalyptic atmosphere, the latest opus provokes such visions interpreted in the melodic direction of death metal/grindcore. The lyrical contents take place in an urban world and prophesize scenarios of death and destruction, Cattle Decapitation’s line-up is fronted by vocalist Travis Ryan, rhythm guitarist Belisario Dimuzio, lead guitarist Josh Elmore, bassist Olivier Pinard, and drummer David McGraw.

The opening track “Terrasitic Adaptation” exhilarates explosive and chaotic tempos, the chugging guitars bring tremendous energy with the dynamics expanding to a level of hyper-pummeling. The versatile songwriting this time incorporates various elements to create ambient textures and rich layers of rhythm and melodies working together. Cattle Decapitation never compromises in its brutality. The extreme proclivity to deliver an insane amount of blast beats showcases the fabulous drumming of David McGraw. While the album has a real apocalyptic feel to it, the riffing is brilliantly augmented by Belisario Dimuzio and Josh Elmore. In the following track “We Eat Our Young” the drums incredibly get really hyper, but simultaneously the instrumental work truly shines showcasing a talent for fusing intensity, diversity, and brutality and the guitars setting for unspeakable violent breakdowns.

Terrasite” combines organic forms of brutal death grind that follow in the footsteps of “Death Atlas” but the grandiosity of instrumentation sets it apart. The guitars are laden with abrasive riffs providing infectious hooks, as each track contains outstanding riffs and grinding drum blasts. These elements in the composition allow the cohesive song structure to flow vividly Cattle Decapitation‘s technical prowess is at the pinnacle, the quintet exerts its ability in the most chaotic and abrasive sound. The melodies and the ambient textural elements are built into a chorus of clean vocals, which highlights the dexterous song arrangements.

The refined level of songs like “Scourge of the Offspring” shows an improved and wider scope that emphasizes a broad range of brutality, from the abrasive tone of the guitars and the grinding drums that can be described as extreme and clinical. The clean vocal passages bring tons of poignant moments on the album, there are also plenty of superfine melodic hooks that will make you thrilled by the gory sonic tapestry. One of the primary aspects of “Terrasite” is the remarkable fusion of melodic and atmospheric segments which are displayed on tracks like “The Insignificants”.

The fierce onslaught of the drums proves how Cattle Decapitation can shift to ultimate fast-paced tempos in fractal seconds, having tons of blasting moments there are times when the drumming carries the whole weight. Ultimately, this results in some insane grindcore onslaught, although the blast beats aren’t upfront there are times when the pacing gets brutally fast. Aside from the technical skills, “The Storm Upstairs” exhibits the riffing prowess in building upbeat tempos with the double bass kicks and the chugging guitars unleashing full-scale brutal riffs. The sense of viciousness that is conveyed reflects the musical inspiration from bands like Broken Hope and Cannibal Corpse.

Cattle Decapitation raises its sonic violence in the track “…and the World Will Go on Without You” which unleashes full-throttle blast beats, but it also shows the sonic aspects. Not only through the definite brutality and grindcore inclinations but also by focusing on the slower melodic trademarks when vocalist Travis Ryan sings in dark clean vocals capturing every melodic subtlety. Blazing tempos laden with tremolos erupting in fierce aggression with the bass guitar of Olivier Pinard brought to the front, the drumming on the album is massively energetic. “A Photic Doom” is instantly catchy and brimming with guitar hooks, and it’s one of my favorite songs of the album, the innovative instrumentation reaches far beyond ordinary bands. The characteristic technique of fusing slower tempos is achieved with a unique method, Cattle Decapitation has composed some of their complex albums to date.

The intricate songwriting on tracks like “Dead End Residents” fuses dark melancholy soundscapes. The music gets to an atmospheric level mainly in terms of crafting quality song structure, and balancing the extreme tempos that give you an experience that is overwhelmingly captivating on the tracks like “Solastalgia”. The dexterity of the guitars creates a mood that is brilliant. Despite the innovative touch, the band proves to have a unique approach to death metal is rather beautifully improvised in the final track “Just Another Body” which achieves a cinematic composition. It begins with dark guitar riffs and heavy percussive building on slower progression focusing on catchy hooks.


  • Music / Songwriting 10/10
  • Vocals / Lyrics 10/10
  • Mix / Production 9/10
  • Artwork & Packaging 8/10
  • Originality 9/10

Despite the four-year gap, “Terrasite” expands from the previous album taking a wider focus on the melodic direction, with the excellent guitar work and flawless song arrangements carving new niches for the band and demonstrating an intellectual evolution.




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