Released: 2015, Metal Blade Records
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
The world is f@#ked, it’s our fault, and Cattle Decapitation wants to make sure you know it. THE ANTHROPOCENE EXTINCTION is not only the follow up to 2012’s breakthrough MONOLITH OF INHUMANITY; it’s the soundtrack to a manmade global apocalypse.
This album SEETHES contempt in such a visceral way, it’ll make you re-evaluate everything you think you know about death metal. While MONOLITH was a creative quantum leap from THE HARVEST FLOOR, THE ANTHROPOCENE EXTINCTION is a more cautious step forward that distills its predecessor’s most brutal moments and matches it with more focused moments of melody and almost accessible proclivities.
The opening “Manufactured Extinct” parallels “The Carbon Stampede” with its tempered introduction and quick descent into controlled chaos – but it’s faster, meaner and just all together more intense; it’s an exceptional track. It also showcases Travis Ryan attempting a more discernable vocal style that allows his lyrics to really hit home more than they have in the past. A line like “Eradication, mass predation/manufactured extinction/The powers that be are you and me” makes you sit back and think for a moment when you can clearly understand the indictment being made. The album continues to burn hot and fast, with no artificial fats or fillers to be found; tracks like “Plagueborn” and “Circo Inhumanitas” are total adrenaline binges, while “Mammals in Babylon” and “Apex Blasphemy” offer some discordant moments of chugged decomposition. “Ave Extinction/Pacific Grim” keeps in line with the closing codas of the last few albums; the former being a solemn moment of predominantly instrumental reflection, the latter being unrepentant, volatile decimation (and arguably the most potent of the 12 tracks here).
As exceptional as MONOLITH OF INHUMANITY was, THE ANTHROPOCENE EXTINCTION somehow manages to push the boundaries of brutality and conscience even further. Cattle Decapitation are the gold standard of death metal that all bands within the genre should aspire to. Easily the best death metal album of the year so far, arguably one of the best of the year in general; if this is what extinction sounds like – we should be so lucky.