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Doors 730pm // Show 830pm // All Ages // $20 Advance & $24 Day of Show
Travis Ryan: Vocals
Josh Elmore: Guitars
Dave McGraw: Drums
Belisario Dimuzio: Guitars
Olivier Pinard: Bass
Cattle Decapitation have never shied away from confronting the awfulness wroughtupon the natural world by the human race, and Death Atlas is their bleakest offering todate. The cover art says it all, a stooped, skeletal Grim Reaper carrying the burnt-outhusk of our planet on his back. “The core concept of this record is humanity’sinsignificance despite what we’ve convinced ourselves,” explains vocalist Travis Ryan.“That’s kind of why this album cover takes place in space, to remind you that ‘theuniverse always finds a way to purge’. In the grand scheme of things, our species ismerely a fleeting thought.” Backing this up with a ferocious soundtrack, it’s one of themost shocking and unflinching records of 2019, demanding an emotional response,and forcing people to think about their own contributions to the devastation of theplanet.
Four years is the longest gap between Cattle Decapitation records, but with oneirresistible offer after another coming in, rather than taking time off and focusing onwriting as planned, they repeatedly hit the road. The upside to this was that with newmembers Olivier Pinard (bass) and Belisario Dimuzio (guitar) joining Ryan, guitarist JoshElmore and drummer David McGraw, the new lineup had a better chance to bond aspeople and develop their musical connection, which was only to the album’s benefit,and contributed to its inarguably epic feel. “That’s just kind of the direction things havebeen going for years now, pretty much ever since ‘Karma.Bloody.Karma’ (2006) but itreally ramped up with ‘Monolith Of Inhumanity’ (2012) and on. We had new blood, and
that helped, plus we knew what we were going for, which very much was an ‘epic’sound.” As intense a listening experience as it is – the word ‘extremity’ applying asmuch as it ever has when it comes to Cattle Decapitation – there is also a lot ofmelancholy in the melodies, which was intentional. “It’s a bummer of a concept and isvery dark and drab, and the cover reflects this as well with the qualities it has. One ofmy favorite reactions from people has been when they cry at our concerts. It’shappened more than a few times, and it’s a very primal, very real emotion. If ametalhead is willing to cry in front of other metalheads, you have done somethingamazing and that is evoking a very genuine response from a person. It has nothing todo with being sad, emotional or depressed. It’s simply just a very real and true reactionto art that I appreciate very much. That was a big influence to me, personally, whilewriting this record.” It’s also a very exploratory record, the band going places theynever have before without compromising themselves at any juncture. Death metal,grindcore, black metal, sludge, doom, drone, all of these extreme styles are thrown intothe melting pot alongside some more restrained elements, and Ryan’s vocals arebroader and more fully realized than ever before. “There’s a bit of ‘actual vocals’ on thisone, not just ‘the bear and the snake’ that traditionally make up extreme metal vocals. Iwant to take things to literal extremes. The highest screech to the lowest of melancholysinging. I’ve always been a singer to some degree, but there definitely is stuff on herenobody has really heard me do. I don’t want to do sounds just for the sake of them,they need to have their place, they need to evoke something.“
Sticking with the ‘if it ain’t broke...’ adage, the band reunited with producer Dave Otero(Allegaeon, Cephalic Carnage) and headed into the studio for the most rewardingrecording process of their career. “It was absolutely incredible. I’ve never felt so goodabout how I sounded, Dave crushed his parts, Josh and Bel killed it, Oli killed it,everyone was just nailing their stuff like never before. This is the first album whereeverything just clicked right into place where it needs to be. We talked about it thewhole time, wondering what was going to go wrong, as everything going smoothly andperfectly isn’t something we’re used to! But it was just the easiest recording we’ve everdone, by far. Everyone was happy, spirits were up, and we just couldn’t be happier withhow things went.” Expanding the sound of the record, the band also invited numerouscollaborators to come in and work with them. The nine-plus minute closing title track –which Ryan considers to be Cattle Decapitation‘s finest moment – features Laure LePrunenec of Igorrr and Ricinn, who Ryan regards as a “phenomenal talent”, and hercontribution definitely ups the already substantial emotional ante of the track. “We alsohad help from Riccardo Conforti of Italy’s Void of Silence on an intro to the record aswell as Dis Pater of Brisbane’s Midnight Odyssey, two bands we’re huge fans of. Weknew these were the guys we wanted to collaborate with to get the right feeling for therecord. We enlisted the brass instrumentalists from Italy’s Ottone Pesante for somehorns on the Dead Can Dance cover song, ‘In the Kingdom of the Blind, The One-
Eyed Are Kings’ and last but not least, we have the legendary Jon Fishman from Phishlending a narration to the track leading into the title track, called ‘The Unerasable Past’.Jon is a big fan of the band and we were happy to have him come on board with thenarration, as well as a quote off the top of his head that was inspired by the beautifularea he lives in, and recorded under the Maine night sky.“
As the band prepares to tour and hopefully reach places they have yet play, what Ryanwants listeners to take away from Death Atlas is clear: “I want people to be shockedinto thinking more about their futures, their loved ones, the pain they’re potentiallysubjecting their future generations to. Everyone just seems to live in the now with nocare for tomorrow and that’s incorrect thinking as far as today goes. Don’t maketomorrow a cancelled check.“