Sunday Metal Minute: Cattle Decapitation, “The Gardeners of Eden” & “A Body Farm”

The vicious, technical new album called The Harvest Floor from San Diego-based modern grindcore/death metal forerunners Cattle Decapitation was just released last week by Metal Blade, and it’s fucking awesome. Put bluntly, this isn’t your typical 1 minute slash-n-burn straight-for-the-jugular grind that many seem to practice; this is some well-structured, epic music! Go to the band’s myspace now to hear the massive, chaotic opening tracks from the album, “The Gardeners of Eden” and “A Body Farm”. Over at Buzzgrinder, vocalist Travis Ryan had this to say about the songs:

“1. “The Gardeners of Eden”
This is the last song we wrote for The Harvest Floor as we knew we needed to craft the way the album starts out and we already had the song that was going to be the last song on the album. I like subtle reference things like staying with formulas or patterns with mostly everything but the music, that’s their job anyways. Such as using Garamond and Edwardian Script fonts together and laying out the art similar to the previous release. The same goes for this song. This is yet another anti-Christian song kicking off the record. Whereas “Unintelligent Design” (2006’s Karma.Bloody.Karma) dealt with the idea that if in fact humans are the work of a creator, he’s certainly a fallible fuck then… “The Gardeners of Eden” focuses more on the “creation” as being a destructive juggernaut hell-bent on eroding the planet. The title raised an eyebrow or two within the other band members when I told it to them (I come up with song titles first then write the lyrics) and it almost didn’t come to fruition. I explained the whole “well, the world is like the Garden of Eden and us as humans trim and cut down the garden so that makes us “gardeners”” and I kind of just went with it and it works even though the term “gardener” isn’t very brutal. Funny thing is, it was inspired by the track “People” by Boyd Rice in which he refers to the natural order of life needing “a brutal gardener” once in a while to trim some of the fat(humans) off the land(planet earth).

2. “A Body Farm”
Musically this song sort of spills out of the first track as it is connected by feedback ring-out and an atomic bomb blast. The idea of the “brutal gardener” spills into this as well in the form of a sociopathic crime scene investigator that runs a “body farm”. A body farm is a controlled environment operated by forensic specialists that emulates environmental effects on cadavers. They literally place real dead humans on the ground and study everything from causes of death to time of death and so on. The problem is, this guy has one in his backyard and his subjects are works of his own doing: he is also a serial killer and his victims are also the ones that help him solve other crimes. I thought I was really fucking clever with this until our graphics guru Cain was reading the lyrics as he was laying out our album and said “hey, this is just like that show Dexter!” He proceeded to tell me about the show Dexter where the guy is a serial killer as well as a blood spatter analyst. I promise you, I had loosely heard of the name of the show before, but never had any idea what it was about before writing this song. I’ve started watching it and it’s actually really good! Excellent cinematography… Anyways, I need to get cable. This show is rapidly getting up there with my favorite show ever Curb Your Enthusiasm, even though it ripped me off… that was a joke.”

Gotta love the creativity in these  gems (and Ryan’s Curb reference..). These guys called Cattle Decapitation also recently recorded a new video for the song “Regret and the Grave” (seen pictured in a still above) which will presumably be available online soon. Right now, they’re out on a short Southwest/West coast tour with Psyopus, Book of Black Earth, and Gigan.

LISTEN: “The Gardeners of Eden”  & “A Body Farm” (from The Harvest Floor, 2009)


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