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A lackluster release by one of my favourite bands - 50%

AwayAtKeyboard, May 15th, 2018

Cattle Decapitation's The Anthropocene Extinction is... mediocre. I said it. This album has gotten a ton of praise, but none of it came from me. I really enjoy Cattle Decapitation's music, and Monolith of Inhumanity is one of my all time favourite albums, but they really dropped the ball with this release.

I first discovered the band with Monolith, and absolutely loved it. When I went to check out their other music, I looked at some of their earlier albums, since most bands seem to get worse as their careers progress. I soon discovered, and I think most people can agree with me on this, that Cattle was not one of those bands. So I had a listen to The Antropocene Extinction. And it was most definitely not the righteous successor to Monolith most people made it out to be.

The album starts off in a similar way to Monolith, with a roughly twenty second long ambient intro followed by a slow, building riff leading into the barrage of lightning fast riffs and drumming that Cattle does so well. Then it hits a slower melodic chorus. Only two and a half minutes into the album, and it already starts slipping. The melodic highs Travis does sound worse on this record than they ever have before, sounding less like they were made with his voice, and more like they were sung by a computer.

The rest of the album seems to follow roughly the same procedure to the songs as the first: relentless guitar, drums and vocals in the verses, followed by a melodic chorus with Travis's almost techno sounding melodic vocal. This makes the songs on the album flow into each other to the point where you don't even really know what song you're listening to.

Another thing I was severely disappointed by was Phil Anselmo's guest spot on The Prophets of Loss. His vocal work in Pantera was great, but instead of doing his normal vocal style, he just spoke instead. He wasn't just speaking though, it sounded like he was about to fall asleep during the recording. An amazing guest vocalist, contributing to, in my opinion, one of the worst songs Cattle Decapitation has ever made.

This album wasn't all bad, however. Songs like Plagueborne, Clandestine Ways, and Pacific Grim brought the album from what would have been a complete disaster to a mediocre release. The production helped the album as well, being very clean with good levels, with all the instruments in just the right spots in the mix, yet still having a certain rawness to it.

All in all, this album had the potential to be a great album, as evidenced by a few songs, but really fell short of a lot of what Cattle Decapitation had previously put out.

Overall rating: 50%
Best Song: Pacific Grim