Published May 23, 2012"I've never slacked that much," says Cattle Decapitation frontman Travis Ryan regarding the writing process for the San Diego death-grind band's latest record, Monolith of Inhumanity. "I didn't even have lyrics, I had to write them in the studio and I've never done that."
Monolith of Inhumanity is Cattle Decapitation's seventh album and the follow-up to 2009's acclaimed The Harvest Floor. "The Harvest Floor was pretty well-received, so we knew that we had to come back with something at least as strong as that, if not stronger," Ryan says.
The new record continues Cattle Decapitation's environmental and social lyrical themes that feature pro-animal/anti-human sentiments, which complements their ever-evolving sound that combines grindcore's fast, frenzied guitar work and machinegun drumming with death metal's heavy grooves and grotesque vocals.
Ryan admits that the pressure to live up to their previous record weighed heavily on him. "I spent the last few years going, 'Shit, what the hell am I going to do?' Usually I have the album title, the cover concept and everything figured out before getting in the studio. This time it didn't work out that way."
But the result is a natural progression from The Harvest Floor and a stronger, more dynamic record. Ryan's more diverse vocal range, as well as more progressive song structures, tempos and rhythms come together to form a cohesive sound that is innovative, yet still distinctly Cattle Decapitation.
"We didn't go into it with any agenda other than we knew we had to outdo [The Harvest Floor]. I think we did that," Ryan explains. "We didn't want to slump; we want to move forward with every record. That means everything, or else you'll be known later on as that band that had that one shitty album. Nobody wants to have that happen."