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Cattle Decapitation is actually a call to keep your head on straight

If ever there was an indictment of the human race, the catalog of music from San Diego's death grind band Cattle Decapitation certainly contributes greatly to it.

Imagine humans treated as livestock. Imagine teeming hordes of uncivilized people engaged in morbid self-destruction; a sort of zombie apocalypse. That's Cattle Decapitation's thesis for where our species is headed and the subject matter for songs like "A Living, Breathing Piece of Defecating Meat" and "Everyone Deserves to Die." Based on the human response to animals and nature and how we treat each other, they believe we're headed for a very messy end.

And these dooms-dayers are coming to Bend's The Sound Garden Studio on Aug. 21.

If this type of hard-core maniacal metal music sounds a little familiar, it's probably because last month, a band called Anti-Christ Demon Core (ACxDC) made local news when its scheduled house concert was ousted from Bend and moved to the Valley. People got wind of the kind of music this band—whose lead singer admittedly practices a type of Satanism—was going to play and filed numerous complaints with the city, made calls to the police and even initiated threats of arson. As a result, the show was cancelled for not getting the proper permits.

The appearance of another polarizing metal band in Bend promises to be different.

For one, Cattle Decapitation does not sing about killing Christians as does ACxDC. The band merely has a pretty bleak outlook on humanity and discusses it through rage rock songs that often sound like people getting the life choked out of them during a dynamite demolition. In the case of the song "Dead Set on Suicide" from Cattle Decapitation's latest album Monolith of Inhumanity, that description is very literal—it includes audio of an actual hanging.

For another, Cattle Decapitation actually attempts to get people to treat not only animals and nature better, but to see the folly of the ways people treat protected classes or those with whom they differ greatly. The band does this with lyrics that put mankind into the same kinds of situations we put animals in and by forcing visceral responses to its music with graphic albums covers like a cow excreting humans out of its anus or a man eating himself.

Two members of Cattle Decapitation—lead singer Travis Ryan and guitarist Josh Elmore— are in fact vegetarians and advocates for improved treatment of animals. But at the heart of songs like "Forced Gender Reassignment" and "Kingdom of Tyrants" from Monolith of Inhumanity is the bigger picture of persistent chaos.

Ryan talked about that with Metal Sucks last year.

"...On The Harvest Floor we talk about rounding up everybody in the world and systematically destroying them and all of the human race. [Monolith of Inhumanity] is more of like 'Well, if this doesn't happen and if things don't change, this is how we're gonna end up.' "

Cattle Decapitation

6 pm. Wednesday, Aug. 21

The Sound Garden Studio

1279 N.E. 2nd Street

$10 at brownpapertickets.com

About The Author

Ethan Maffey

Both a writer and a fan of vinyl records since age 5, it wasn't until nearly three decades later that Oregon Native Ethan Maffey derived a plan to marry the two passions by writing about music. From blogging on MySpace in 2007 and then Blogspot, to launching his own website, 83Music, and eventually freelancing...
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