Cattle Decapitation - _Humanure_
(Metal Blade, 2004)
by: Jackie Smit (7.5 out of 10)
If you discount the introductory piano piece as simply the precursor to another platter of generic gore-grind, then the first big surprise on _Humanure_ is the opening track, where the band break into an almost symphonic breakdown within its first forty seconds that quite literally comes swirling out at you through the Carcass-ified riffing. Yes, I used the word "symphonic" to describe a Cattle Decapitation song, and while the San Diego vegan-core merchants have hardly made an attempt to emulate Emperor on their third full-length, the follow-up to the rather dull _To Serve Man_ is definitely a big step up for the band in terms of overall musicianship and song writing, as well as sheer brutality. Songs are faster, more complex and generally far more adventurous than anything this mob has delivered so far. Yet, amidst all this new-found fervour and ferocity, Cattle Decapitation can at times appear to be slightly unconfident -- almost as though they're scared to fully embrace the evolution hinted at on the album's standout moments. Thus the record wanes, particularly toward the end of its running time, with tracks like "Polyps" and the absurdly titled "Lips & Assholes" sounding indistinct and uninspiring. That said, it's very satisfying to see the band develop to the point where one could reasonably argue that the weakest track on _Humanure_ still manages to top anything that they've offered us before.

Contact: http://www.cattledecapitation.com

(article published 11/8/2004)


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