Cattle Decapitation - The Harvest Floor (Cover Artwork)

Cattle Decapitation

The Harvest Floor (2009)

Metal Blade

It's a shame that Cattle Decapitation doesn't have their own profile on this site, especially since news about them comes through once in a while. Some of you might have written this band off as noise, and I'll admit that before this album I had too. But with The Harvest Floor, Cattle Decapitation has finally come into their own and found a good balance between their noisiness and their melody. While 2006's Karma.Bloody.Karma was a hard listen with its massive brutality and unrelenting grind, The Harvest Floor is much more mature.

The album kicks off with "The Gardeners of Eden," which has your typical deathgrind scary noises intro. Fast forward a couple of seconds and you get to some music (and you have to take the word "music" with a grain of salt, especially if you're not previously a fan). It goes right into a grind with lead singer Travis Ryan belching (and he literally sounds as if he is belching) out his lyrics in his unique way. Most of these lyrics are not understandable without reading along from some sort of lyrics sheet, but I've always believed that in a band like this the sound of the voice is more important than the language. The song really picks up in the middle where pianos and echo effects are introduced, giving it a very haunting effect, which immediately launches into more grinding until the end of the song.

The next song is where the album really takes off. Quick to launch into the brutal "A Body Farm," it starts out at a million miles a minute, and in a moment of clarity Ryan's lyrics come through clear as crystal as he belches "For every life I take, an ecosystem I create / Blood and guts consumes my life / I am the 'brutal gardener' / I -- 'quantity controller' / more insane than Jesus Christ," and at this point we realize this band is not only vegan but are also not fans of "JC." Sprinkle in some pig squeals and a lot more grinding and the rest of the song is much of the same.

In fact, the rest of the album is much of the same, thus the reason I only give it a 7. These first two songs are basically what the rest of this album consists of, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it does get redundant. It's almost like listening to the same song for 35 minutes. But that's what deathgrind is; you're not listening to songs so much as listening for unique parts of what will sound like a large song. You remember a particularly brutal part or an interesting melody or effect before you know what's on each song.

This album won't make any new Cattle Decapitation fans, but if you enjoy a little brutality in your life you may find some satisfaction in Cattle Decapitation's particular blend of "vegancore."