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The new dawn... - 87%

6CORPSE6GRINDER6, November 29th, 2012

This is some of the best prog/death there is! Cattle Decapitation’s third full length shows their most mature compositions, and even if it’s not their best album it is the new reference in quality for the band’s new acquired sound. Composition wise it isn’t very different from its predecessor, but somehow it is more inspired and memorable, like the couple of albums that follow. The splatter/gore atmosphere they had from their beginnings is still there, but more refined. It shares the spotlight with a wider sense of melody and composition skills that grew from average to genius with the years. The progressive side of the band is very dark and gloomy, as their savage and minimalist grindcore roots; resulting in a very experimental yet extremely heavy and brutal style of music.

Their dynamic song structures drift among riffs and melodies that combine all kind of different feelings, but they are always committed to the dismal and the decadence; this constancy in the character of the music is not to be confused with monotony in any way, because there are drastic tempo changes everywhere, strings play more technical riffs but they don’t abuse from the tapping, sweep picking and those alternative techniques. They are used to bedizen the nasty gore soaked riffing very efficiently. The inclusion of varied textures without leaving the splatter/gore atmosphere from which they build their sounds is unique, this band is fucking awesome. I would even recommend it to fans of old school death metal, it won’t let you down if you seek heaviness because this shit is noisy, down tuned as fuck and violent; with a twist.

The drums are played with an exquisite technique, the drummer stepped up his abilities a little from the past album to this one, and the recording process was done much better too. They don’t sound triggered but the drummer plays so fucking accurate that it sounds mechanic. Bass drum’s strikes go even one after another, off beats are nailed perfectly and every hit is stroke with the same strength. The fills are very creative and syncopated, and the fast blast beating parts are relentless. The cymbal work sounds crystal clear and it’s pure class too. Guitars distortion is very solid and surrounding, perfect for the band’s music. It isn't very acid neither it does have a lot of reverb; it’s more compressed and controlled but still very electric. Lots of arrangements are made to the riffs; I think this is the main difference this album has from its predecessor, very similar in riffing and song structures. Solos on instrumental parts and some eerie melodies give the riffs another essence, more haunting but still heavy. Bass guitar is distorted half the way, you can’t feel the organic tone of regular bass but the gain still lets you hear the sound strings make when they hit the fret board, so you can hear it individually even when it’s playing exactly the same thing the guitar does. There are some arrangements composed from the low end that add a lot to Cattle Decapitation’s mature form. Vocals vary from deep growls to black metal shrieks depending on the situation, but every style is performed up to the highest standards.

This music is so memorable, weird and heavy at the same time it makes it one of the most unique forms of death metal. Sophisticated in its simplicity –because there isn't an abuse of the decorative elements of the music, there’s an emphasis on the dense and obscure core of extreme metal- it kind of reinvents once again a genre where everything seems to be already invented.