Sound — 9
I think out of all the death metal bands out there, Cattle Decapitation has had the most improvement out of all of them. Every album they release they improve on something, whether it be the lyrics or just the overall production. They've gone from muddy, boring 50 second long songs, to much more melodic and listenable songs. This really showed on their last album, "The Harvest Floor", but they've come full circle here. "Monolith Of Inhumanity" is one hell of a well put together album. There are occasional times when the instruments and vocals drown each other out, but other than that they sound fantastic. Everything sounds really clear. This is a very good thing for this album: it has some of the best riffs, solos, and drum work I've ever heard on a death metal album. Josh Elmore knows how to write a metal riff. He goes from some low end galloping to psychotic riffs that sound like something a complete madman would play. One suprising thing is the amount of melody that's in this album. In "Gristle Licker", there's a really cool sweep picking lick repeated two or three times throughout the song, and in "Lifestalker", there's a surprisingly chill solo that almost sounds like it belongs in an Opeth song. I really was shocked how melodic this album is. This was the first Cattle Decaptiation album I heard, and just from their name I was expecting some run of the mill obnoxious death metal, but I was so very wrong. Backing all this up is Dave McGraw. My god, can this guy drum. He completely brutalizes his drum kit, sending out a unrelenting wave of intense blast beats. On top of that, there is some of the fastest double bass I have ever heard in metal. It's freakin insane.
Lyrics — 10
One thing I've learned about Cattle Decapitation after listening to some of their earlier stuff is that they have some of the most revolting, gory, violent, and well-written lyrics I've ever heard. All of this is to get their pro-vegetarianism point across. They do a great job of it, too. If you have even a slightly weak stomach, you'll probably never be able to eat meat again after listening to Cattle Decapitation. They just spew a nonstop stream of gore and hatred for humanity on every album. "Monolith Of Inhumanity" is no exception. "Gristle Licker", "A Living, Breathing Piece Of Defecating Meat", "Forced Gender Reassignment", and "Projectile Ovulation" are some of the most sickening things you'll ever hear. "Forced Gender Reassignment" is especially painful to listen to for anyone with male genitalia, with lyrics like "A slice up the shaft and around the corona/Unsheathed penile muscle exposing the urethra". "Lifestalker" and "Dead Set On Suicide" explore humanity's dark side. "Lifestalker" actually has some pretty interesting lyrics to it. It seems to be talking about how man is too dependent on technology and we're sinking into some sort of dark age. It's kind of neat. And spewing these foul lyrics is perhaps one of the best death metal vocalists ever, Travis Ryan. The things this guy can do with his voice are just insane. He can go from deep growls to these inhuman highs that sound like a demon spawn drinking blood and screaming at the same time. During the especially gory parts, he does some weird throaty gurgling thing with his voice that make them even more sickening to hear. He does this to great effect on "A Living, Breathing Piece Of Defecating Meat". The one time I don't like his voice is on the first track, "The Carbon Stampede", where he just does spoken word. It doesn't sound good at all, at makes it the worst song on the album. On the interlude to "Lifestalker", he even does melodies with his highs that actually sound really good. I really don't think any other vocalist would have been able to pull this album off the way Travis Ryan did.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall, I would say this is perhaps one of the best album's of 2012, and dare I say it: maybe one of the best death metal albums of all time. It has some of the catchiest riffs, the most disgusting lyrics, awesome drumming, and kicka-s vocals. Cattle Decapitation really did something special here. They're one of the most unique sounding bands out there, and they really know how to get their point across. My favorite songs would be "Gristle Licker", "A Living, Breathing Piece Of Defecating Meat", "Forced Gender Reassignment", and "Lifestalker". The only songs I hated on this album were "The Carbon Stampede", "The Monolith", and "Kingdom Of Tyrants". If you're a metal fan, I definitely recommend you give this album a go, you will not be disappointed. In fact, check out some of the bands older stuff as well, it's pretty good too. I'm hooked on them right now, so go look them up.
I thought I should add this as an afterthought - just to let you know: there are two music videos for this album. The first is for "The Monolith" and "Kingdom Of Tyrants", which is a two part song. The second is for "Forced Gender Reassignment". A word of warning: DO NOT watch the "Forced Gender Reassignment" video. It's one of the most messed up things you'll ever see, to the point the only website that will allow it to be posted is bloodydisgusting.com. Trust me on this, don't watch it.