Our most favorite Metal Record of 2023 has arrived?!?!? Too soon??? We don’t think so, especially when you get a chance to hear Cattle Decapitation’s Terrasite in full. It’s big, bad, and beautiful and hones in on the ever evolving sound of the San Diego quintet oh so exquisitely. We had been blasting first single “We Eat Our Young” pretty much daily since it dropped and the fact that’s it yet to get old even when listening to it within the album over and over and over some more is a huge tell for us about the longevity of both the track and the album.
But I digress.
“Terrasitic Adaptation” starts it all off with a mighty onslaught from drummer Dave McGraw and vocalist Travis Ryan on a tear and with a presence on Terrasite that’s intense, vicious, and powerful. Also intense and vicious are the shreds continually coming from Josh Elmore and Belisario Dimuzio’s guitars with bassist Olivier Pinard offering a robust rumble to accent the thunderous riffage.
While we’ve already admitted to playing/loving the hell out of “We Eat Our Young” here, it’s really “Scourge Of The Offspring” that is just everything. The second song released from Terrasite, it’s one of the most, GASP!, melodic offerings Cattle Decapitation has done to date with a massive chorus from Ryan that’ll shake you to the core. Like, it’ll make you feel feelings with the world endingness of the narrator who spews things like “What a wondrous life this would have been/But I’m outnumbered/Like the stars at night/There’s so many of us/That need to die” after an ear piercing scream, no less. It’s poetry, right?
“The Insignificants” hits next with the first HUGE taste of the clean vocal bug that’s seeped into the Cattle Decapitation machine around the 3 minute mark and, quite frankly, we welcome the change. Adding more depth to the sonic destruction CD regularly lay, Ryan proves to be one of the most versatile vocalists in the field of Metal today with his performance on Terrasite. “The Storm Upstairs” starts like a dirge with the way Dimuzio and Elmore’s guitars clash then settles into some steady Groove Metal with Pinard and McGraw’s rhythmic onslaught mimicking the epic flow that Ryan has concocted before some more of the most melodic CD stuff to date.
“…And The World Will Go On Without You” has more melody that’s, dare we say, downright majestic even when sung in the “Goblin” voice with “A Photic Doom” offering another gnarly vocal pattern that devolves into an even gnarlier spoken word diatribe that’s undeniably creepy following the gnarliest melodic passage yet because the vocals on this album are in another plane. Actually, so is the rest of the band. “Dead End Residents” is a start/stop experiment on extremes with the battle that rages between Elmore and Dimuzio on one side and McGraw and Pinard on the other coming off as just Heavy Metal mastery at its’ finest.
Did we say extreme? Oh, we mustn’t have gotten to “Solastalgia” yet which is just heaviness incarnate and kind of the perfect last blast before the massive “Just Another Body” comes steamrolling in with over 10 minutes of epic Metal madness. It’s a breutiful (Get it? Brutal + Beautiful= Breutiful!) finale that begins all piano-laden and epic and straight out of some Gothic noir film before the relentless pummeling starts. Then there’s a mega breakdown where the original thematic things come back, some more screams from Ryan, and then, wait, what? Actual full-blown singing before the 7-minute mark??? Terrasite is everything and more that you could want out of Cattle Decapitation and, hands down, probably the most perfect Metal album to emerge in 2023.
Terrasite descends on May 12th through Metal Blade Records. Pre-orders are up now in a variety of uber cool formats (“The Fleshy Architect” Orange/Peach Marble vinyl! “Terrasitic Jizzplosion” Clear w/ Gold Splatter vinyl) when you head here. For the latest from Cattle Decapitation, including dates where you can catch them on their upcoming Decibel-sponsored tour, follow the trail of socials on the information superhighway by clicking here, here, or here.