You play in the first league of death metal, your previous album was great (“The Anthropocene Extinction”) and you know you are already on your eighth album of your career. How likely is it that you will impress your fans once more? Probably, not, right? Wrong!
Cattle Decapitation, the death metal band from California, not only don’t disappoint but they released their best ever work. It’s a great 55’ long album that doesn’t tires, and how could it have been like this since the band shows remarkable diversity in composition and each track is top notch. From the –in your face- “The Geocide”, to the catchy “Bring Back The Plague” or the more sentimental “Time’s Cruel Curtain” and –no, let’s face it- each and every track has it’s own character, no matter if they play progressive death metal or they choose grind or black metal patterns. And all this until their magnum opus, the last composition, the title track “Death Atlas”. It’s this song where they manage to create an epic song and strut their talent and keep us on our toes from start to finish.
They are all talented musicians and you can find interesting new elements to enjoy with every new approach on the album (great drumming, notable bass lines, amazing riffing) but what really stands out here is the out of this world phenomenal performance of Travis Ryan on vocals that swifts so easily through different vocal styles and imparts the compositions with a great variety (from brutal screams to some “crazy” clean ones) that makes you wonder if they have some other guest on vocals. Last but not least the production by Dave Otero is rich and dynamic.
Travis is also responsible for the lyrics that go along with the nicely done album cover so at the end there’s not much chance of misinterpretation what this is all about, humanity has failed, the hourglass is running out, there’s no hope since the human race alone is responsible. That’s why we see Grim Reaper carrying the sick planet like an Atlas. “We deserve everything that’s coming / We’ll take this world to our graves…”