The 'Monolith...' Crushes
Cattle Decapitation has always been one of those unique bands with not only a driving, solid purpose behind their music that steps away from the average 'death and destruction' theme of a dime a dozen death metal bands, but also a powerful sound that flattens, punishes, and forces one to sit down and listen. On 'Monolith of Inhumanity' the band lives up to their previous release, 2009’s 'The Harvest Floor', which was a brutal offering that shrugged off the issues they had on previous releases, but here 'Monolith...' just shreds. Still drawing on Cannibal Corpse influences for speed and vocal ability, Cattle Decapitation features one of the more dynamic voices in metal with a mix of growls, shrieks, snarls, and even gargled singing which may sound odd, but also unique so it can definitely be a hook factor. Also, unlike earlier releases, there are a lot more technical and melodic sections that set the group away from the brutal death metal section and towards direct, stable death metal.
Tracks like "The Carbon Stampede" are crushing death metal pieces that leave nothing in their wake while others like "Forced Gender Reassignment" are slightly slower, with the pulsing groove that could be heard from a band like Dying Fetus. Even technical psychedelic bits can be heard in the guitar solos among the hailstorm of drumming on "Gristle Licker", which also features some of the more melodic sections which is something you don't always hear in a band like Cattle Decapitation. Perhaps the biggest stand out is the slow, atmospheric "The Monolith" which switches from thundering fury to slow, depressing tones and twisted keyboards among distorted wailing, which is the perfect lead in for the crushing "Kingdom of Tyrants".
As far as lyrical delivery goes, Cattle Decapitation are sure to stamp out anyone who thinks that death metal is just about destruction, evil, and the walking dead. The group is quite pro animal and environment and get their ideas across through the ferocity of the music. While it is not the most direct and preachy route when considering a track like "Gristle Licker", the music matches the sickening thought that in the end the world will destroy itself if animals and the environment are treated poorly. Of course some tracks may raise eyebrows such as "Projectile Ovulation" as to wondering how a song like that would get the band's idea of 'animal supremacy' or 'environmental protection' across to their listeners, but the music still lives up to the death metal ideal that it has to be gory. Overall, 'Monolith...' crushes with little remorse while still providing a good message and possibly could stand as Cattle Decapitation’s most defiant effort ever.
(Metal Blade Records/Riot! Entertainment)