29th October 2019
Review by Jesse Edwards
Photography by Graham Hilling
Cattle Decapitation return to Birmingham as they embark on another whistle-stop tour of Europe to preview their upcoming new album Death Atlas. This time they’re supported by Osiah throughout the European leg of the tour and the third band on the bill was a local unit, Old Wharf, who unfortunately I was unable to see due to a pre-gig interview with Cattle Decapitation’s Travis Ryan (which you can read here).
However, I was able to make it out for the final half of Osiah, and I can sincerely say that they made a real impression!
The lead singer oozed confidence whilst commanding the stage and was laying down some impressively varied vocals.
The rest of the band were tightly locked in and you could clearly see the enjoyment being shared by band and crowd alike. By the time that Cattle Decapitation were due to take the stage, the venue was hot, cramped, and stuffy, so the crowd were restless and ready to go. Finally the lights dimmed, and the band were met with rapturous cheers and applause.
Now rather than describe the gig song by song, I will instead address the event as a whole, as I honestly did not recognise many of the songs, with a large selection (5/11) being served from their yet to be released album Death Atlas. I feel that this certainly contributed to some significant lulls in crowd activity throughout the show, but fan favourites such as ‘A Living, Breathing Piece of Defecating Meat’, ‘The Prophets of Loss’, ‘Forced Gender Reassignment’, ‘Mammals In Babylon’ and ‘Plagueborn’ were all met with the type of frenzied crowd reaction you’d expect.
I most point out that the band were on excellent form, with new bassist Olivier Pinard putting 110% into his performance; the energy on stage was infectious, and Travis Ryan’s vocal chords were in fine fettle. (I’ve always been blown away by just how well his vocals are replicated in the live environment, and tonight was no different.)
According to Travis, the venue’s small stage prevented the band from displaying their backdrop and banners, so it was reminiscent of a real old-school club gig tonight, but with that said, it was a shame not to hear any tracks from pre-Monolith of Inhumanity make it into the setlist, however Cattle Decapitation are now a very different band by their own admission, so it’s completely understandable.
The new songs all sounded phenomenal, and I cannot recommend getting along to your nearest show to hear them for yourself.
My last observation before leaving the venue was just how varied the clientele were; the obvious die-hard fans were in attendance, but there was a distinct presence of youngsters packing out the front rows, and with the new album looming, I took it as reassurance that Cattle Decapitation’s future seems distinctively bright, and as one of the most accomplished and hard-working bands in metal, that’s no less than they deserve.
Performance – 5/5
A Living, Breathing Piece of Defecating Meat
The Prophets of Loss
One Day Closer to the End of the World
Not Suitable for Life
Forced Gender Reassignment
Bring Back the Plague
Mammals in Babylon
Time’s Cruel Curtain
- Manufactured Extinct
- Your Disposal