The calm before the storm. The opening instrumental, “Scatology Domine (intro),” sounds like it came out of an upright piano in some mental health rec room. The title track, “Humanure,” barrels out of the speakers like some PCP-addled psycho from a 1970s after-school special. The tight start/stop barrage of drummer Michael Laughlin and bassist Troy Oftdal, the tortured squeal-howl of Travis Ryan, and grind fiend Josh Elmore on guitar round out San Diego’s Cattle Decapitation.
This band plays as one unit like I haven’t heard for some time. I credit the relaxed, yet in-your-face production (the band co-produced with Bill Metoyer) as to what gives it a live, in-your-house, and up-your-ass feel…uncomfortable, yet completely compelling. “Cloacula: The Anthropophagic Copromantik” and “Bukkake Tsunami” are dictionary-required grind masterpieces (umm. . .you won’t find “Bukkake” in the dictionary). The face-melter “Reduced to Paste” and the aforementioned “Bukkake Tsunami” are quite catchy in a frighteningly insane kind of way. “Chummified” effectively recreates swirling, oceanic death.
The vegetarian, animal rights agenda doesn’t come off as over-bearing. In fact, it’s a nice change from the sometimes mindless brutality associated with death metal. With truly sick (in every sense of the word) artwork by Wes Benscoter (www.wesbenscoter.com), disturbingly intense, yet strangely beautiful, Humanure could be album cover of the year so far.
Cattle Decapitation will also be playing with Watch Them Die at the Starlight in Ft. Collins on Monday, July 26th. For more information, go to www.thestarlight.com. Cattle Decapitation will be tearing down the Climax Lounge as part of an intense package with The Black Dahlia Murder, Poland’s Decapitated, and Goat Whore on Wednesday, July 28th, in an all ages show; doors open at 7 p.m. www.nipp.com.