Cattle Decapitation

Travis Ryan: Vocals | Josh Elmore: Guitar (acoustic), Guitar (electric) | Michael Laughlin: Drums | Derek Engemann: Bass guitar

Genre: Metal | Hardcore, Punk

Sound description: Brutal, aggressive, mean noise that, if overheard by your parents, could land you in military school.

RIYL: Mercyful Fate, Leviathan, Accident Prone, Lurker of Chalice, General Surgery, Deicide, Entombed, Sepultura, Carcass, Suffocation

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Synoposis

Ex-Band Members: Rahsaan Davis, Bass guitar Troy Oftedal, Bass guitar

Influences: Caninus, the Locust, Accident Prone, 7000 Dying Rats, Sepultura, the Faceless, Creation Is Crucifixion, Animosity, Hammers of Misfortune, the Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower, Mercyful Fate, King Diamond, Deicide, Corrosion Of Conformity, Entombed

Background:

A press release for Cattle Decapitation says the band “brings forth the ideas of vegetarianism with the utmost brutal approach in expression, both musically and imagery. [Their] sound will bring elements of older death/grind, inbred with utterly impossible low vocals, while being stabbed by immense drumming.” The group is known for wearing masks made of beef jerky onstage, an apparent statement regarding the trivialization of animal remains for human consumption.


  Originally formed as a member-swapping side project of The Locust (drummer Dave Astor founded the Locust, and former Cattle Decapitation guitarist Gabe Serbian played drums in the band).


Album cover Their remastered Human Jerky CD is enhanced with bonus CD-Rom-type content playable on any computer, such as live footage from the jerky mask shows, downloadable desktops, and a link to the band’s website.


Song titles on the CD include “Colon Blo,” “Constipation Camp,” “Roadkill Removal Technician,” and “Parasitic Infestation (Extracted Pus Mistaken for Yogurt, and Gargled).”


Album cover 2004’s Humanure album was banned in many retail outlets due to the cover illustration of a cow excreting human remains. The band’s experimental leaning on this record reared its head in the form of a ten-minute-long track constructed almost entirely of slaughterhouse field recordings. Then, the band was signed to big-time Metal Blade records, home of Mercyful Fate and King Diamond.


  Says Cattle vocalist Travis Ryan, “Being on Metal Blade Records allows us to reach a higher level of exposure and ability to play in places and in front of crowds that we wouldn’t normally be able to, and that is something we need right now.”


  The group’s debut for Metal Blade, To Serve Man was named after a classic episode of The Twilight Zone TV series wherein nine-foot tall alien Kanamits utilize an intergalactic cookbook to make lunchmeat out of human beings.


Album cover Between more tours, Cattle Decapitation recorded 2005’s split 7 inch shared with the canine-fronted grindcore oddity Caninus. This material saw a return-to-form in terms of song lengths but introduced an increasingly diverse range of extreme metal.


Album cover This laid the framework for 2006’s full-length Karma.Bloody.Karma. In Ryan’s words at the time, “This will be the most nihilistic, pessimistic and hateful record we’ve ever done lyrically. Musically, imagine the Caninus split material, just longer in every way.”


The CD was produced by Billy Anderson (Swans, Mr. Bungle) and features guest appearances by Joey Karam (The Locust) and John Wiese (Bastard Noise).


Singer Travis Ryan says he smuggles band merchandise (shirts, stickers, and more) into shows when he is on tour so that the band doesn’t have to pay the traditional 20-percent cut to the promoters. “They count you in at the beginning, and they count you out at the end. Let’s say you have 30 shirts less, you pay them 20 percent of what those shirts sold for.”


Cattle Decapitation were nominated  Best Hard Rock Band at the 2006 San Diego Music Awards. They were nominated for two more awards in 2007: Best Hard Rock and Best Hard Rock Album.

In Autumn 2010, the band headlined the California Blood Tour with fellow locals Burning the Masses, along with Devourment, Knights of the Abyss, and Son of Aurelius. The following year, they headlined the second annual Slaughter By The Water festival, held June 25, 2011, at Craneway Pavilion in San Francisco.

In January 2012, they debuted new songs from their upcoming full-length Monolith of Inhumanity during January shows in Phoenix, Albuquerque, and Denver. That March, they played the UK and Europe with the Reborn of Death tour, featuring Cerebral Bore, Suffocation, Hate, Blood Red Throne, and Sephirah.

Monolith of Inhumanity was released just before summer 2012. Around the same time, they got a sideways nod on Adult Swim's Metalocalypse cartoon about death metal band DethKlok, who drop by a Cattle Decapitation Pet Supply store.

Summer 2012 was spent touring Europe with Suffocation, Blood Red Throne, Hate, and Cerebral Bore. They quit the Autumn Apocalypse Tour, reportedly because Six Feet Under frontman Chris Barnes allegedly punched Cattle Decapitation singer Travis Ryan during an argument.

Their summer 2013 single “Your Disposal” (on black and clear vinyl) features the B-side “An Exposition of Insides,” previously available only on the Japanese edition of their Monolith of Inhumanity album. Around the same time, a video debuted online for “Your Disposal,” directed by Mitch Massie, part of a story arc also seen in their videos for “Forced Gender Reassignment” and “Kindgom of Tyrants.”

During summer 2014, the band announced "We regret to inform our fans that due to unforeseen circumstances that are beyond our control, Cattle Decapitation will not be performing upcoming dates in Europe which included several festivals," the band announced. "We were looking very forward to touring with Possessed." No reason was given for the cancellation.

Discography

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