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Cattle Decapitation’s second EP was released one year after their first offering, “Human Jerky”. It shows a slight evolution, both share the same goregrind style but this time composition got more refined and attractive. First song “Mauled” is a proof that the band can do more than packing good riffs in less than one minute. The other tracks despite being shorter show maturity in songwriting skills; even if they are not playing prog/death yet they managed to pull out a more consistent and memorable grind than before. Somehow tracks are put together so that they flow nicely between each other. If there’s one fast blast-beating track, the next one might start with a slower interlude before it regains speed for example, giving the allbum a wider tonal variety.
The production is better than on “Human Jerky”, but the guitar tone is drier and dull, it doesn't have enough weight. Distortion is suffocated by the lack of gain and overdrive, as I said before it sounds kind of dry and “boxed”. It is still very raw and amp like, not very modulated or with any particular effects on it. Bass guitar is distorted too, this time even with more gain and a riot-like, messy overdrive. It doesn't outshine the guitars though, it blends perfectly with them instead and truly helps in the development of a creepy "chase-like" atmosphere; like when you're watching a horror movie and you feel someone's coming for you from the back, after all death metal is horor music. The strings’ department delivers a decent and very grind fitting sound to this “EP” but it lacks the punch guitars didn't give. Drums mark the song’s pulse efficiently, blasting its way through the fast and aggressive grindcore parts and with heavier and meaner beats for the hardcore punk influenced mid paced sections; which resemble those classic thrash breaks but simpler and darker. Vocals are still grunted, but this time they feature high pitched shrieks on one track and the other –studio edited- is lower and more devilish. This combination is closer to how vocals turned out on their latter efforts than the lower and deeper vocals on the previous EP.
In general terms, what we have here is a nice compilation of goregrind tracks. Minimalist and disgusting, glimpses of technicality or progression aren't visible yet; the main attraction of the band’s recent records. There is melody in CD’s larvae stage music, not to evoke cold and more delicate feelings, as they latter did; but riffs sound more bright and memorable than the average because of the keys they use. Rhythm plays a primordial role while song’s develop their sickening and bloody gore atmosphere, dense and heavy grooves take control over any sense of harmony they have. It's a fresh sounding record when compared with the rest of the goregrind acts' first records, riffing is way more original I can't hear a barefaced influence by any other band, the Carcass clone tag this first couple of Cattle Decapitation's EPs earned for example, goes beyond my understanding. Highlights: Mauled, Carnal Fecofilia, WIne of the Sanguine and Molested / Digested.
The style of "Homovore" is completely different than any prior release by Cattle Decapitation, in that it's a lot more structured and melodic than anything previously written, making the material much more memorable and catchy. This release also shows the band experimenting with longer material for the first time. "Mauled" is a whopping 3 minutes, 28 seconds which makes it the longest track recorded by the band at the time of this EP's release. A catchy guitar riff and hi-hat hit followed by a powerful drum roll and double bass beats set a groove to the track, and soon the vocals catch up and the lyrical structure works harmoniously with the beat already set, versus having the vocals on an entirely separate pattern which is what was heard prior to this content.
The audio quality starts off quite clear, with the drum track in the back and vocals in the front, while the guitar ties everything together in the middle and this works well seeing as there is no bass track present. However, about half-way through something happened, and every track begins to sound like it is produced differently from the previous. Some of the latter tracks such as "Bathing in a Grease Disposal Unit" has the drum track at the front again, causing the vocals and guitar to fall behind and become lost. This is really unfortunate for "Molested/Digested", which has the potential to be one of the better songs of the album but due to the poor audio quality it falls into mediocre range, the fuzz hindering it too much to be dismissed.
Alongside "Mauled" there are quite a few noteworthy tracks. "Diarrhea of the Mouth", "Carnal Fecophelia Due to Prolonged Exposure to Methane", "Human Jerky and the Active Cultures" are all structurally great material that is fluid. "Homovore" knows when to give itself a break, incorporating well timed breaks and tempo drops. The drumming is like an entirely different person took over, as the skill shown has taken a 180 and everything presented is fresh.
- Villi Thorne
What is this, I don't even...last time I checked, early Cattle Decapitation were good at making grindcore. Now I come to this... This uninspired piece of crap that evokes nothing from me but utter boredom.
Cattle Decapitation's second EP Homovore technically has every element a band needs to create a successful grindcore album, but it falls short of achieving this due to two mistakes: one, the band has forgotten that all great grindcore is fast and catchy; two, the guitars are far too bland in their tone and they're suppressed in the mixing as well. Add that to the fact that many of the riffs are just plain boring, and you're left with an album that will not grab your attention for very long, if at all.
Cattle Decapitation's sole sense of identity, i.e. Travis Ryan, is present as vocalist on this album, and although I enjoy his bestial growls and screams on Cattle Decap's subsequent albums, he actually hurts the music here. Expect nothing more than a constant double-tracked growl and scream by the guy for a whole twenty-one minutes. It seems like he never shuts up, either - his mouth keeps flapping throughout the entire album, as if he was going to have a heart attack if he allowed the band to go on without him for more than one measure. The only song where he manages to actually control his need to speak for a minute is "Molested/Digested", and gee, for some reason it's one of the most listenable songs on this release. Take a hint, Travis Ryan - shut the fuck up for a while. Frankly, you are not that great a vocalist, to the point where I can stand hearing you talk continuously for over twenty minutes.
The guitars aren't exactly playing what you'd call grindcore - it's more like songs you'd hear as the background to some kids visiting a farm or a petting zoo, remixed by some schizophrenic or a psychopath. This style of playing (what should I call it, "farmgrind?") is tolerable at times - at others, it's completely annoying. More often than not, it's just totally boring. It grabs my attention every now and then, but as soon as I come back to full conscious listening, the band has changed riffs again. It's as if the band was to say, "Look at this cool riff we wrote!" and when I turn my head in that direction, I see high-definition pictures of goatse and Tubgirl. It's boring to the point that the songs feel at least three minutes long, which is not a good sign for Cattle Decapitation, because only four of the sixteen songs here are actually longer than two minutes in length. At the same time, the songs are way too slow - many of them have the pace of a fatass cow slowly and lazily making its way through fields of grass. The band only picks up pace seconds at a time, and the end result just feels very clumsy.
Drums are just about the only high point of this release - they're slow like the rest of the band when Cattle Decapitation is in one of their stupid slow paces, but otherwise the punk beats and blasts are very well-executed, and given the amount of substance the guitars have in the production (that is to say, little to none), the drums make the faster parts of Cattle Decapitation's music a little less hollow.
That's not to say this release doesn't have its moments of enjoyable material, though - the very short songs in particular have at least a bit of charm that makes them at least a little entertaining. "Colostomy Jigsaw Puzzle", despite having a title that sounds like a ripoff of Carcass's "Corporeal Jigsore Quandary", is very catchy, and probably the most worthwhile song you'll find on this release. "Bathing in a Grease Disposal Unit" is another great song, keeping the slow bullshit to an absolute minimum. And finally, "Wine of the Sanguine" keeps blasts to the max and cow-tempo beats to a minimum. Other than this, moments of brilliance on this release are seconds-long, though "Molested/Digested" manages to keep a good rep until its final riff reverts to this album's trademark slow "farmgrind" riffs it finds to be so great.
This release isn't exactly grindcore, so grindcore fans can ignore it. And it's not really metal either, so metalheads can ignore it as well. Well, what do you know! This eccentric release, which in a nutshell sounds like "Old McDonald Had a Farm" played by maniacs, will appeal to no one. Try to avoid it.
If you need to have the title of the review explained to you, you probably dont listen to Cattle Decapitation.
Of course, maybe that's why you're reading the review... to see if you will enjoy Cattle Decapitation, so let me explain it...
Cattle Decapiation is made up of Vegetarian band-members.
Onto the album! The first thing you notice about this album is the strange mix. The drums seem to be at the very forefront. At all times. Of course, that could be because, in the tradition of much grindcore, there is no bass on this album. Might be the reason for a deteriorated guitar volume. However, more strange, is the deterrence of usual guitar sounds for grind/death music. Generally, the sound in other death metal or grindcore releases has less treble in the gutar sound. This album, however, is chock full o' the treble. Also, the guitars are tuned to what sounds like standard E. That's another oddity. Truly, as far as the guitar is concerned, this is a rare breed.
Drums... well, many drummers in metal tend to forget that percussion is alot like sex... really fast doesn't mean really good. Mix it up, I say, and Cattle Decapitation responded with "Alright, we'll do that!"
I was impressed. He still has the blast beats, and the hard core snare-rolls, but he isn't afraid to mix the whole thing up by slowing down here, or switchin around the pattern there, going from slow snare to fast snare while keeping the same kick-beats. He really is a great drumer, and one of the best techniques is the total control over the snare and kicks as seperate instruments. You will have the snare bouncing away like the blast-beat to end all, while the kick is bouncing in time with the vocals, or the guitar, making for a strange mix. Speaking of strange mix, if you wanna know how the drums are mixed, they fit the standard metal formula... Kick volume 400, Snare volume 200, cymbals 200. Kick is always up front, for whatever reason. I personally blame Lars Ulrich.
The vocals... yeeeeeeeeeeeeeees.... some of the most horrifying, sewer-like regurgitations I've been privvy to. Granted, you wouldn't want to hear it all day long, but 20, even 30 minutes at a time would not ruin your taste. Imagine Carcass, just a little... better, I guess. It's a nice mix between the unbelievably deep grunt, and the piercingly high screech. And the dual-vocals are layered to perfection. I mean, the seperate tracks have been recorded completely in synchronization with one-another. Awesome.
Lyrical content ranges from hilariously gruesome, gruesomely hilarious. Of course, these lyics are supposed to be some form of angry vegetarianism, but it comes off sounding too funny to really make me want to stop eating meat. Alot of the words and phrases sound like they come from a medical textbook... and they do. Travis Ryan (allegedly) has some medical training, and he uses it to paint the lyrics with colorful imagery and morbid fantasm.
All together, this rare-find is a treat for any grind fanatic, and a must if you're a collector of uncommon albums in the metal genre.