Deathgrind Cattle Decapitation strategically dropped their album Death Atlas on November 29, 2019 AKA Black Friday 2019. As the album hits its first birthday, it feels more relevant than ever now because, well, a LOT has happened since the end of 2019 and the nihilism and criticism that Cattle Decapitation offers fits like a glove.
Their ninth studio album, Death Atlas is just shy of 55 minutes long, making it their longest album to-date. It might not see super long but when you remember their grindcore roots, that makes it an epic length in comparison. Lead vocalist Travis Ryan has been with the band since 1997, discussed the new album as, “what we feel is our strongest album to date…Musically and lyrically, there is a lot of grief, anger, hate, passion, and emotion poured into this one.”
The review for the album on Metal Injection perfectly summed up Cattle Decapitation’s content as a band throughout their discography with Death Atlas being the cherry on top as “merciless extremity with a purpose”.
Fans got the first taste of the album in September 2019 when “One Day Closer To The End Of The World” was released as a single. It was followed by the aptly named song “Bring Back The Plague” in October 2020. My personal favorite from the album has become “Be Still Our Bleeding Hearts”.
“The soil is rotten
The oceans forgotten
The glaciers now molten
In our tracks we are frozen”
Taking things beyond the ruthless lyrics of the music, the band released a video for the single “Bring Back The Plague” on April 1st, 2020.
Filmed on cell phones from the safety of their homes, and intercut with news clips of the wide-spread panics as lockdowns due to covid-19 began and people partying over spring break anyways, Cattle Decapitation once again put the spotlight on the missteps of the human race. It’s like if you don’t laugh then you’ll find yourself crying at the painful truths; much like how I felt after watching the Pandemic Special episode of South Park.
Ryan and let people know his thoughts about the song and the stay-at-home orders, by letting us know that, “Everything from the band name to the lyrics to the merchandise to the imagery have always been heavily steeped in metaphors and irony always with tongue firmly in cheek, so this new video by David Hall at Uneasy Sleeper may just be our coup de grâce… for better, or for worse. Just don’t take it too seriously, we obviously didn’t. After all, it is April Fool’s Day so sit back, have a laugh if you can and stay the fuck home.”
Since the late 2019 release of Death Atlas, Cattle Decapitation have just kept rolling through the chaos that 2020 has become (to put it lightly). Remember that “tongue firmly in cheek” merch that Ryan mentioned? The band released a face mask featuring a collage of news images that have filtered through our news feeds since the start of the year, with “2020 Sucks” typed across the front, and, well, the phrase “2020 sucks ass” is what they were going for on the backside of the design.