Cattle Decapitation – “Medium Rarities” (Metal Blade Records)
Battle Helm Rating
Bringing to a bloody close what began 10 years ago when vocalist Travis Ryan began compiling unreleased songs, import bonus tracks and 7-inch releases for a rarities compilation, “Medium Rarities” is 23 tracks of just that – including the master catch of ‘Rotting Children For Remote Viewing’, a bonus number from the Japanese release of ‘To Serve Man’ that proved elusive over the last 10 years, even from the band members’ own collections, but luckily still held in Metal Blade’s vaults – after extensive searching! An absolute must for any fan of Cattle Decapitation and equally so, anyone with a penchant for eclectic, extreme metal, there is a real range here from the 4 second ‘The Recapitation Of Cattle’ to the longest track at 3 1/2 minutes ‘Cannibalistic Invasivorism’. Featuring 6 pre-“Human Jerky” (1999) demos when Travis Ryan also handled guitar duties including the noise snare frenzied ‘Diarrhea de Dahmer’, this collection spans the band’s 22-year-long career and plugs the gap as the band continue to work on their new album. As you might expect, compared to Cattle Decapitation’s last release “The Anthropocene Extinction”, these rarities are far rawer, although its equally noteworthy that the band’s core sound of alternating screaming / roaring vocals, shredding guitar and stampeding drums is evident throughout despite it being far more primitive along with a less heavy sound. That said, the visceral nature of ‘Colon Blo’ with its bile inducing vocals and grim reverb drenched riffs along with the Mexican death grind of ‘Tripas de Pepe’ proved perversely alluring, along with catchier, more rhythmic tracks closer to the band’s newer style like ‘An Explosion Of Insides’, which was originally included as a bonus track on the Japanese edition of 2012’s “Monolith Of Inhumanity”. Whilst I’d recommend the uninitiated wow themselves on the band’s more polished recent releases, for everyone else who can hear the bone saw calling out, “Medium Rarities” serves it up aplenty!