Cattle Decapitation is an American extreme metal band from San Diego, California, formed in 1996. Their brutal musical style fuses grindcore and death metal. The band's current line-up includes vocalist Travis Ryan, guitarist Josh Elmore, and drummer Dave McGraw. Cattle Decapitation have released seven albums, the most recent being The Anthropocene Extinction in 2015.
Cattle Decapitation performing in 2013. From left to right: Josh Elmore, Dave McGraw, Travis Ryan and Derek Engemann.
|Origin||San Diego, California, United States|
Founded in 1996, Cattle Decapitation's songs protest the mistreatment and consumption of animals, the abuse of the environment and touch subjects such as misanthropy and genocide of the human race. Much of the band's music is based on putting humans in the situations that animals are subjected to, for example animal testing, slaughter, etc. While the band started with an entirely vegetarian lineup, only two current members are vegetarian, namely Travis Ryan and Josh Elmore.
The 2002 album To Serve Man saw controversy in Germany, where distribution company SPV refused to handle the album due to its graphic cover. The cover of the 2004 album Humanure, featuring a cow excreting human remains, was reportedly censored without permission from the label in some outlets. Record store owners did not display the album, making it difficult for customers to find and buy it.
Metal author and journalist Garry Sharpe-Young once acknowledged the band as "one of the few metal bands whose message hits as hard as their music".
In August 2009, Cattle Decapitation parted ways with long-time bassist Troy Oftedal because of "musical and personal differences". Cattle Decapitation's album Monolith of Inhumanity was released in 2012. It received positive reviews upon release.
Cattle Decapitation has toured with many extreme metal acts, including Suffocation, Cryptopsy, The Black Dahlia Murder, Deicide, Behemoth, Hate Eternal, Krisiun and Job for a Cowboy. The band also participated in Metal Blade Record's Scion A/V Showcase in late 2012.
The band spent the majority of 2014 writing a new record. The tracking for the album was announced to have been completed on February 14, 2015. On May 20, 2015, Cattle Decapitation announced the title of the new record was The Anthropocene Extinction. Alongside this announcement the band released the first song of the record, titled "Manufactured Extinct". It was released through Metal Blade Records on August 7, 2015.
On April 30, 2018, two Native American teens were pulled out of a Colorado State University tour by the police for being "too quiet' and wearing "dark clothing." When the band found out that one of the brothers was wearing Cattle Decapitation T-shirts, they offered the brothers "free guest list spots for life."
The band is currently working on a new album to be released in 2019.
Former touring members
|Cattle Decapitation discography|
|Year||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|2002||To Serve Man
|2009||The Harvest Floor
|2012||Monolith of Inhumanity
|2015||The Anthropocene Extinction
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart.|
|2005||Cattle Decapitation / Caninus
|1996||Ten Torments of the Damned
|2002||"To Serve Man"||To Serve Man||Brett Herpich|
|2004||"Reduced to Paste"||Humanure||N/A|
|2009||"Regret and the Grave"||The Harvest Floor||N/A|
|"A Body Farm"||N/A|
|2012||"Kingdom of Tyrants"||Monolith of Inhumanity||Mitch Massie|
|"Forced Gender Reassignment"|
|2016||"Clandestine Ways (Krokodil Rot)"||The Anthropocene Extinction|
|2017||"The Prophets of Loss"||Paul McGuire|
Caninus was a deathgrind band formed as a side project by Most Precious Blood guitarist Justin Brannan, Rachel Rosen, drummer Colin Thundercurry and two female pitbull terriers, Budgie and Basil. They were signed to War Torn Records and had three releases, including a split with Hatebeak and a 7" split with death metal band Cattle Decapitation. In 2008 Richard Christy played the drums on an unknown number of songs for Caninus.On January 5, 2011, Basil, one of Caninus's pitbulls, died. Basil had been diagnosed with a brain tumor and was euthanized. The band has ended because of the dog's death. Vocalist Budgie also died in early 2016.Cattle Decapitation / Caninus
Cattle Decapitation/Caninus is a split 7" record between Cattle Decapitation and Caninus. It is Caninus's final release.Creation Is Crucifixion
Creation Is Crucifixion is a mathcore band that was formed in early 1997 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The band was known for its complicated sound, which varied from ambient noise to more complex pieces. Their lyrical themes often dealt with technology and various functions of society, such as politics and religion.
The members of the band formed Hactivist Media in 2001 to release the recordings and experiments of the group. This signaled a step in the band's evolution as the group became increasingly political with the release of their Child as Audience CD in 2001, which featured a large booklet printed in multiple languages that theorized using technology as subversion (focusing on the reprogramming of children's video games). The band also experimented with various formats by releasing compositions on 3.5" discs through the organization.
Creation Is Crucifixion has been mostly inactive since 2002. There is a further release in the works via Robotic Empire, but the release has suffered numerous delays.Former member, Scott Mellinger is a member of hardcore Christian band Zao. Michael Laughlin was formerly the drummer of the deathgrind band Cattle Decapitation.Gabe Serbian
Gabriel Serbian is an American drummer and guitarist, most famous for his work in The Locust, Cattle Decapitation, and Holy Molar. He is also a member of Head Wound City, a hardcore/punk rock supergroup.
He has performed with Alec Empire, Nic Endo, Charlie Clouser, and Merzbow.Serbian also played live drums for Miami IDM/breakcore artist Otto von Schirach on a European tour and also when von Schirach played/toured with The Locust.
Serbian was praised by Dave Lombardo of Slayer, who said that
"There's a band called The Locust. Their drummer is named Gabe Serbian, and their music hits me now like D.R.I. hit me in the early '80s".Homovore
Homovore is the debut album by American deathgrind band Cattle Decapitation. It was released in 2000 on Three One G. The LP was pressed on "lavish cow-colored vinyl", meaning white with black splotches.Human Jerky
Human Jerky is the debut EP by American deathgrind band Cattle Decapitation. It was released in 1999. It was first released on LP by Satan's Pimp, and was later re-released on CD by Three One G.Humanure (album)
Humanure is the third full-length album by death metal band Cattle Decapitation. Gabe Serbian, Justin Pearson and Robert Bray of The Locust make guest appearances on this album, along with former member Scott Miller. A music video was produced for "Reduced to Paste".
The album cover by Wes Benscoter is a parody of the cover of the Pink Floyd album Atom Heart Mother. The cover, which depicts a cow defecating flesh and blood, was deemed grotesque by many retailers and they refused to carry it unless it was changed. The cover was edited, removing the cow, and leaving just a barren wasteland.The album's opening track "Scatology Domine" (the title of which is also a Pink Floyd reference, in this case to the song "Astronomy Domine") is a cover of the opening of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata.Karma.Bloody.Karma
Karma.Bloody.Karma is the fourth full-length studio album by deathgrind band Cattle Decapitation. It was released on July 11, 2006. The track "Total Gore?" features guest vocals from Joey Karam of The Locust. It is the last album to feature drummer Michael Laughlin.
The album cover depicts a figure resembling the Hindu deity Shiva, while the album name refers to karma, a concept attributed to Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Taoism. In an interview with Aggressive Tendencies, Travis Ryan explained that the album cover was actually a plan B.Monolith of Inhumanity
Monolith of Inhumanity is the sixth full-length studio album by American deathgrind band Cattle Decapitation, released on May 7, 2012. Upon its release, it was met with positive reviews praising the addition of melody into their sound.Murder Construct
Murder Construct is an American extreme metal band from Los Angeles, California. The band members are Travis Ryan (Cattle Decapitation), Leon del Muerte (Nausea LA, ex-Exhumed, ex-D.I.S., ex-Intronaut, ex-Impaled, ex-Phobia), Chris McCarthy (Exhausted Prater, Dreaming Dead), Caleb Schneider (Bad Acid Trip) and Danny Walker (Intronaut, Exhumed, ex-Jesu, ex-Uphill Battle). Previous band members include drummer Jeremy Gregg.Pathology (band)
Pathology is an American death metal band from San Diego, California, formed in 2006 by drummer Dave Astor (previously with The Locust and Cattle Decapitation). The band were signed to Victory Records for an over three-year period, but now are currently signed to Sevared Records, an independent New York-based death metal label. They are often considered one of the major names currently in the "slamming brutal death metal" genre of metal.Ten Torments of the Damned
Ten Torments of the Damned is a 7" demo by Cattle Decapitation released in 1997. The album is currently out of print, and there are only 4000 copies believed to be in existence.Although Travis Ryan is not included on the recording of the demo, he was involved with Cattle Decapitation at the time.The Anthropocene Extinction
The Anthropocene Extinction is the seventh studio album by American deathgrind band Cattle Decapitation. It was released on August 7, 2015, on Metal Blade Records. It became Cattle Decapitation's first album to chart on the Billboard 200, debuting at No. 100. It is their last record to feature bassist Derek Engemann.The Harvest Floor
The Harvest Floor is the fifth full-length studio album by American deathgrind band Cattle Decapitation. It was released through Metal Blade Records on January 20, 2009. The album was recorded and mixed at Sharkbite studios in Oakland, California, with engineering and production by Billy Anderson. The artwork was designed by Wes Benscoter, and shows the outside of a large slaughterhouse with the "general public being herded inside to meet their demise." It is the band's last album to feature bassist Troy Oftedal.This Is Circumstantial Evidence
This Is Circumstantial Evidence is a music DVD created by Strictly Amateur Films and released by Three One G on April 20, 2004, featuring videos of live performances by several bands from the label. The bands included are: The Blood Brothers, The Locust, Cattle Decapitation, Swing Kids, Moving Units, Get Hustle, Jenny Piccolo, Orthrelm, and Love Life. The DVD also includes a studio track by each of the aforementioned bands that can be found on one of their ThreeOneG releases. Much of the footage on the DVD is of technically substandard quality. Though this may be perceived as negative by some, it adds to the underground feel of the DVD and is generally not thought to be intrusive.To Serve Man (album)
To Serve Man is the second full-length album by American death metal band Cattle Decapitation. The title is a reference to the Twilight Zone episode "To Serve Man".Travis Ryan (musician)
This article covers the Christian singer, for the Death Metal vocalist of the same name see Cattle Decapitation.Travis Ryan Collins (born August 3, 1983), who goes by the stage name Travis Ryan, is an American Christian musician. He released a studio album in 2012, Fearless, with Integrity Music. He is most known for co-writing "We Believe" with Richie Fike, Matt Hooper. The song was popularized by the Christian band Newsboys.Wes Benscoter
Wes Benscoter is an American artist who is best known for his work album covers, especially heavy metal albums. He also has made covers for magazines and books, and shirt designs, and his art is featured in many galleries around the world. Most of his work is done using airbrush. Benscoter lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.¡Decapitacion!
¡Decapitacion! is a 7" EP from Cattle Decapitation. All three tracks on the EP are in Spanish, and can be originally found on the album Homovore.