The Harvest Floor Review

artist: Cattle Decapitation date: 03/30/2009 category: compact discs
Cattle Decapitation: The Harvest Floor
Released: Jan 20, 2009
Genre: Metal, Death-Metal
Label: Metal Blade Records
Number Of Tracks: 10
San Diego death metal/grindcore terrorists return with arguably their fiercest body of work yet.
 Sound: 8.5
 Lyrics: 8.5
 Overall Impression: 9
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
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reviews (2) 65 comments vote for this album:
overall: 7.7
The Harvest Floor Reviewed by: UG Team, on january 28, 2009
3 of 6 people found this review helpful

Sound: Death metal and grindcore enthusiasts are undoubtedly already familiar with Cattle Decapitation. The San Diego band was founded in the mid 90's and they've released several critically acclaimed albums throughout that time. The Harvest Floor is the group's newest effort and instead of slowing their frenzied pace down, they've only gotten sicker with age! Obviously out to prove his might, new drummer David McGraw checks in with a breakneck performance. He attacks his snare drum with bloodthirsty abandon on tracks like on the relentless opener, The Gardeners of Eden. His work here easily puts in the same class as guys like Dan Wilding (Aborted) and Brian Harvey (Pig Destroyer). Producer Billy Anderson (Brutal Truth, Sick of it All) highlights the separate players and performances enough to have them stand out but he never loses grasp of the fine songwriting the band have obviously honed over the last couple of releases. Anderson also doesn't overdo things leaving enough thickness in the guitars to set the album apart from the endless flock of synthetic sounding metal albums coming out these days. The only drawback, sonically speaking, is the clicky bass drum sound but McGraw's expert playing more than makes up for it. // 7

Lyrics: Cattle Decapitation is made up of four vegetarians and their lyrics have always reflected that. If anything, their views towards humanity's consumption of animals have been nothing short of vitriolic. They still manage to often inject some humor into their songs but with music so harsh and intense in nature, it would be easy to miss it if you didn't have a lyric sheet in front of you. On The Harvest Floor humans are victimized in some truly ghastly acts of violence. On Tooth Enamel & Concrete vocalist Travis Ryan growls, pain like you've never felt before/your face instantly grated and scraped along the sidewalk/chiseled up, filed down and a concrete crown. Ryan's performances are pure unadulterated brutality here yet he somehow still squeezes out a few decipherable lines here and there. Not only does he possess one of the most guttural vocal styles around, he also unleashes a higher pitched, demonic voice in specific spots that jump out of the speakers like ravenous dogs. His approach on We Are Horrible People is proof alone that the singer will stop at nothing to get the band's message across. No matter what the consequences of his singing methods have on his throat in the long run. // 8

Overall Impression: Josh Elmore flexes his veteran chops throughout The Harvest Floor. He shreds like no one's business but more importantly, his command of riffing and rhythm in general is superb. The way he chops up the main refrains on Into the Public Bath will leave listeners breathless. Elmore is the ideal match for McGraw's thunderous drumming because his picking hand seems to know no boundaries. Having been around the underground metal circuit for quite some time now, Cattle Decapitation are part of a large family of bands keeping the scene fresh and thriving. To mix things up a bit, the band have invited some outside guests to contribute to the recordings. The most compelling has to be avant-garde artist Jarboe (ex-Swans) who lends her bewitching voice to the epic title track. These are the kind of left-field ideas more death metal groups should have the guts to try. In the end, The Harvest Floor is the sound of an assured act firing on all creative cylinders. Even though it's still so early in the year, this one will probably make the best-of lists come December. // 8

- Carlos Ramirez (c) 2009

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overall: 9.7
The Harvest Floor Reviewed by: mafoogles, on march 30, 2009
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: This album is epic. The guitar, drums, the vocals, and bass work are all top notch. These guys know how to play they're insturments, and they aren't afraid to show that fact. But not only is the musicianship amazing, but the song writing is top notch. They don't just blast brutal guitars drums and vocals in your face for the whole record, but rather take some time every once and a while and go into a nice almost classic metal riff (regret and the grave's chorus riff) our go into a wierd athmospheric part (the entire title track, the gardeners of eden) and they will sometimes pause just to bring in a riff that's just as heavy if not heavier than the last one. This all makes the album sound way more varied and heavier than it would have with just a straight ahead blast. This is definatley a record worth checking out. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are pretty much all typicla death metal gore, but these guys have come up with an interesting take on them, but this is nothing knew to any old cattle d fan.they whole band is vegitarien, so they take what animals will go throguh in a slaughter house our other things of the like and put humans in they're place. I have no idea how they have spread this out over 6 albums, but they seem to do it well. Without a lyric book though, you won't understand a lot of the lyrics, because from vocalist travis ryan does incredibly heavy and brutal vocals. He goes from death grunts to a high black metal shriek (dani filth eat your heart out) with semaingful ease, and he does it all while sounding amazing. His growl is somehat different to my ears than the regular say, canibal corpse vocal. The bes way to describe it is it sounds more "round". He's an amazing vocalist, and you will definatley hear that on this album. // 9

Overall Impression: This album is great. There isnt a lot to really hate about it, except for one thing. And that is the beggining of the song "tooth enamel and concrete". They should not have put that sample in. It's like a saw against your brain when you listen to it through headphones. And what really sucks is that the song is so good, so you just have to listen to it! None of the songs are really terrible, although I usually find myself skipping over the ttile track, it's just very atmospheric, and they're isnt a lot going on. But the rest of the album is definatley amazing, so you should go out and buy it. As in now! // 10

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