Screaming environmental activism is one way to make people listen
Continuing with their theme of calling out the human race for their treatment of the planet, Cattle Decapitation’s eighth full-length studio album, Death Atlas, is bleak with facts and change that is very palpable in the future. The songwriting and attention to detail in regards to global warming and climate change are more unsettling than Travis Ryan’s screams.
After the band’s previous two releases—Monolith of Inhumanity and The Anthropocene Extinction—this album comes as no surprise in terms of their unashamed accusation that punches people in the face. They have cautioned about the dangers of what humans’ lifestyles will cause and the influence on the environment, but we are also living in it.
“Anthropogenic: End Transmission,” the opener, lives up to its name because it sounds like a transmission coming through aboard a ship. Even though it appears a different language is coming through, the title gives way to the focus being that pollution comes from human activity. One could just read the titles of all 14 songs and feel the anger, passion, despair and so much more that comes through strongly in each track.
Throughout the album, there are two more tracks that act as transmission and those are “The Great Dying” and “The Great Dying II.” The former clearly states that “environmental scientists and engineers now describe the current era as planet Earth’s sixth mass extinction. Its cause— humans.” We are in the Anthropocene, there is no denying that and one can’t ignore the hard truths that Cattle Decapitation spits out. “The Great Dying II” goes as far as to call for wiping out humans by saying that “annihilation is necessary.”
Overall, this album is full of hard-to-swallow truths and fears that have brought the Anthropocene to the devastating state it is at now. With so many subgenres of metal mixed into one album, listeners can appreciate all the hard work that went into Death Atlas. If this album does not bring about some type of emotional response, listen again. Honestly, each track deserves its own analysis and with lyrics like the ones found throughout, pages upon pages could be written.
Cattle Decapitation just keeps getting better and better and they certainly found a way to make people listen to the plights of the planet that humans have brought about. The band has maintained their essence and it can be said that Death Atlas is their best to date.