Cattle Decapitation have made a unique name for themselves in Death Metal, and will definitely go down in history as one of the most putrid, disgusting and heaviest acts in the genre. Characterized by vocalist Travis Ryan’s abnormal tunnel throat techniques, guitarist Josh Elmore’s chaotically clean guitar playing, ex-bass player Derek Engelman’s lightning fast finger picking and drummer Dave McGraw’s indescribably heavy and inhuman drum skills, Cattle Decapitation is one of those bands that make you wallow in self-pity due to the sheer talent each member holds, along with their incredible chemistry.
Whilst ‘Medium Rarities’ isn’t a new album, it may as well be; 23 tracks of pure relentless death metal and grind that will leave listeners with the biggest stank face from beginning to end. Whilst it’s obvious that the rarities tracks are all either rare, previously released, lost songs or bonus tracks from other albums, it doesn’t mean that it’s still not completely brilliant, just in a different way to ‘Monolith’ or ‘Anthropocene’.
Cattle Decapitation kick off the album in true grind fashion with Birth. Cancer. Death, with the words ‘What you’re about to hear, is beyond your worst nightmares’, and listeners should take that pretty seriously; the first 15 tracks of the album are all less than 2:00 long, with Ryan also performing guitar duties on the pre-‘Human Jerky’ demo’s. I’d be lying if I said that the biggest standout of the first half of the album wasn’t Recapitation of Cattle, with literally one 16th note performed by each member, including the vocals, with the track lasting 4 seconds. Incredible.
After a 10 year long wait however, we finally get our hands on the track that’s been lost in the archives, Rotting Children for Remote Viewing, meant as a bonus track for ‘To Serve Man’, which was seemingly lost forever until Heather Parsons of Metal Blade unearthed the track from the vaults. Whilst listening to the utmost brutality that is Rotting Children for Remote Viewing, the pure talent of each member, especially Ryan is highlighted to new extents, especially after realizing that not only has Ryan not lost his voice, he’s improved exorbitantly since the release of ‘To Serve Man’ 16 years ago.
The tracks that stand out amongst the inaugural gorefest that is ‘Medium Rarities’ however, is undeniably the last three tracks, An Exposition of Insides, No Light and No Life and Cannibalistic Invasivorism, all B-Sides from ‘The Anthropocene Extinction’, but it’s an absolute wonder as to how they’re B-Sides in the first place. An Exposition of Insides begins in typical Cattle fashion; no introduction, just straight into 300bpm blast beats and violent riffage, along with a memorable, but uneasy sounding hook comprised of fret sliding, with two guitarists playing one semi-tone apart, that’s delegated in heavy music.
Cannibalistic Invasivorism takes the cake for one of the best album closers that Cattle Decapitation have ever done, and it’s a wonder as to why this track in particular wasn’t included in ‘Anthropocene’. Filled with all the things that characterize Cattle, from the astounding double kicks and tight blast beats, to the uniqueness of the bass and the monstrous riffs, the band always manage to find away to bring their own brand of Death Metal and Deathgrind and make each song into something absolutely ridiculous. When you hear the riff in Cannibalistic Invasivorism, you’ll know.
What can merely be described as a gorefest, the upcoming rarities compilation by Cattle Decapitation is some of the most elegantly putrid, stupidly heavy and pure violent material in the world; just another day for Cattle.
Purchase ‘Medium Rarities’ HERE