Cattle Decapitation – Terrasite (Album Review)

Cattle Decapitation – Terrasite
Released: May 12, 2023

Line Up:

Travis Ryan // Vocals
Josh Elmore // Lead Guitar
Belisario Dimuzio // Rhythm Guitar
Olivier Pinard // Bass
David McGraw // Drums

Cattle Decapitation online:


Far from the biggest fans of humankind, San Diego deathgrind legends Cattle Decapitation have been delivering their unique brand of intense, cerebral, manic grindcore-infused extreme metal for well over 25 years. A group that has pushed themselves musically throughout their career, Cattle Decapitation have toiled and toured their way into becoming one of the most respected underground metal acts. Their fantastic previous full length Death Atlas dropped three months before the Covid virus swept the earth – a bizarre coincidence due to the inclusion of the track ‘Bring Back The Plague’ – and that fittingly apocalyptic-themed leads us to their newest record, Terrasite. As it’s vile artwork not-so-subtly implies, Terrasite is all about rebirth, with it’s bright and sunny album cover all about putting the horrors of man firmly in the light of day.

Terrasite immediately greets us with a trio of powerful, dynamic tracks to set the mood and tempo for the rest of the LP. ‘Terrasitic Adaption’ lulls the listener in with creeping guitars before the rest of the band explodes in, immediately showing off the world class mix and production from longtime producer Dave Otero. It doesn’t take long for the tune to get fast and furious, with a shredding guitar solo and darkly melodic vocals popping up in it’s second half. The fittingly back to back ‘We Eat Our Young’ and ‘Scourge of the Offspring’ are furiously immediate cuts – snappy and violent with lots to sink teeth into. ‘We Eat Our Young’ is the obvious single, with its main refrain one of the most memorable moments on Terrasite, while ‘Scourge of the Offspring’ is about as melodic as the grinding fiends get.

There seems to be a focus from Cattle Decapitation on creating longer tracks – no sub-two, or even three, minute blasts to be found; all the new material has multiple twists and turns that work deeper into the listener’s brain with every spin. And Terrasite will require a handful of listens to grab everything that flies by behind David McGraw‘s whirlwind drumming. After that initial triumvirate of songs, the rest of the album does feel like it goes down half a gear, but there are still many highlights to be found; ‘The Insignificants’ with it’s straight to the point chorus and killer, moody ending, and the grooving ‘Dead End Residents’ and ‘A Photic Doom’ – which contains another great solo from long member Josh Elmore. ‘The Storm Upstairs’ and ‘…And The World Will Go On Without You’ don’t pack quite the same amount of ear-grabbing power, but even these lesser moments contain huge outros – a songwriting skill the group have clearly nailed down.

Frontman Travis Ryan’s vocals are as feral and foul as always, while carefully choosing where to inject his maniac, unsettling cleans for just a touch of melodicism. The epic finale ‘Just Another Body’ – a tribute to the passings of Cattle Decapitation founding member Gabe Serbian and Black Dahlia Murder vocalist Trevor Strnad – is a tremendous way to send the listeners home. It’s 10 minute run-time sees the five-piece touching on almost every element of their sound – a restrained piano intro, frantic pace, driving groove and emotionally dark ending. Terrasite could not end on a more powerful note.

Cattle Decapitation’s eighth studio LP Terrasite is a yet another opus in their immense back catalogue. Heavy in more than one sense of the word, it’s a colossal collection of some of the most forward thinking deathgrind/grindcore/extreme metal out there. Compared to previous triumphs, it’s not quite up to the huge standards of Death Atlas and 2012’s Monolith of Inhumanity – it’s slightly weaker belly is to blame. That said, Terrasite is an extremely strong release from Cattle Decapitation – they’ve simultaneously kept the bezerk core elements their sound, whilst firmly pushing and expanding outwards in new, horrifying forms.

Cattle Decapitation – Terrasite tracklisting

1. Terrasitic Adaptation
2. We Eat Our Young
3. Scourge Of The Offspring
4. The Insignificants
5. The Storm Upstairs
6. …And The World Will Go On Without You
7. A Photic Doom
8. Dead End Residents
9. Solastalgia
10. Just Another Body

Rating: 8/10
Terrasite is out May 12th on Metal Blade Records. Order here
Review By – Andrew Kapper. Twitter: @andrew_kapper