ALBUM REVIEW: Cattle Decapitation – Medium Rarities

Release Date: November 23rd 2018
Label: Metal Blade Records


San Diego’s Cattle Decapitation have been in existence since 1996, and since then they’ve released seven albums with a mixture of different releases across the globe. Of course, there’s some tracks that only turn up on particular versions of their records, and some that that are even rarer to find and hear than that.

Along with some tracks in the vaults initially thought to have been lost, they’ve dusted them off, and amalgamated into one collection called ‘Medium Rarities’ ahead of some further new material to follow in 2019.

Focusing on the suffering of animals in the modern era and how humans should be subjected to the same treatment, this is no light-hearted adventure through their bonus material.

Igniting the fires, ‘Birth. Death. Cancer.’ starts with the line “What you are about to hear is beyond your worst nightmare”, which is a fair warning to any chance listener. Inciting a revolution on four legs, ‘Turn On The Masters’ thrashes and riles with guttural force at the lack of compassion shown to animals, and encourages a full force “bite back”.

Quickly thrashing between songs that at times barely make it over thirty seconds (one barely makes it to five seconds), the first portion of the album is over in a fluttering heartbeat of macabre dissonance.

Ensuring the rancid tirade continues, ‘Flesh-Eating Disease’ and ‘Colon Blo’ subjects us to a confrontation of human suffering with a distorted feedback of screeching guitars that lack a high production value, but are informatively labelled “demo” for clarity.

Giving a brief break into the onslaught, ‘Sonny’s Burning’ is a strange and disjointed track created with open drums and brief interchanges of guitars and guttural lyrics that portray the wanton suffering and destruction of a character that turns into pleasure.

Showcasing the difference that time and experience makes over the years, ‘An Exposition Of Insides’ with ‘No Light And No Life’ display a huge amount of dexterity, flittering outright thrash with black metal and hardcore riffs. The intelligible lyrics and increased production value ensure that the overall experience is deeply more impactful while still retaining the vileness and retaliation of the earlier tracks.

Normally b-sides and rarities are left to the racks of recording studios or sat collecting dust on a musicians mantlepiece, likely to be forgotten forever. This collection and the raw nature of the tracks shows a timeline of progressive evolution into the modern era expanding on a tried and tested formula.