Cattle Decapitation – Death Atlas (2019)

Cattle Decapitation have definitely morphed into their own entire league in the last few years or so. There are no bands that come close to imitating the group’s lightening fast death metal blend. For me, they stand unique amongst a sea of endless death metal artists. This, on the previous few records, has been a shining plus point. On Death Atlas however, I can’t help but feel that Cat-Decap are becoming somewhat formulaic.

Death Atlas is, by all accounts, a savage record. The songs are stunning; the guitar work is out of this world and the drumming is absolutely insane, as are the incredible vocal performances by Travis Ryan, who is easily one of the best in the business. The trouble is, is that after initially surprising people by blending batshit-fast death metal with huge melodic choruses and chugging breakdowns, the band have now chosen this formula as their status quo. A lot of the songs here follow the same pattern of intense death metal comprising of neck-breaking speed, followed by some walloping clean-sung chorus. And honestly, the closing track aside, it all kinda starts to blur into one. I can see what’s coming before I’ve hit the next song in the track list – and as amazingly well put together Death Atlas is, being able to see this isn’t a good thing.

To recap, Death Atlas is a solid album and another great entry into the band’s recent output of records. However, there is a very real chance of stagnation on the horizon if the band continue down this path.