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Review by TheOneNeverSeen on May 1, 2023.
The Green Peace of deathgrind have finally returned 4 years after the Earth (both the real one and the one on Death’s back on the album cover) staggered at the release of their second-best album, Death Atlas with a new portion of powerful soundtrack to humanity’s demise. While this album is nearly equivalent to the previous one sound-wise, it manages to deliver quite a few epic melodies and shows a sufficient diversity representative of the band’s reluctance to merely recycle Monolith of Inhumanity riffs.
The opening song, 'Terrastic Adaptation', starts off with a sinister, slow-paced intro riff followed by Travis Ryan’s infernal scream that unkindly reminds you the guy is still one of the best modern death metal vocalists. Nearly as legendary as the most memorable scream in the band’s history (the 3:03 one of 'Bring Back The Plague') this scream instantly sets the atmosphere of the end of time. Upon having grinded you with a series of gut-wrenching riffs and passages of all humanely possible tempos, the album spits at your terrasited body with yet another song opened by Ryan’s visceral scream (also the album’s main single), 'We Eat Our Young'. With the infant-eating out of the way, the album collapses at you with a series of consistent, brutal yet desperate riffs and ferocious drumming. The only unenjoyable song on it is the mediocre 'The Insignificants', which, while not being bad, feels like "yet another Cattle Decapitation song" due not containing any particularly remarkable elements. The rest are fine at worst and excellent at best.
Generally, the band’s approach hasn’t changed much. All the beloved elements such as Josh Elmore’s monstruous riffing and David McGraw’s crushing drumming are here. The only major change would be the unexpected reduction of (carbon levels, haha) the amount of Ryan’s "goblin" vocals. While I love them and never viewed them as a problem, unlike some other fans, I always encourage experimentation and Travis’s decision to employ this style of singing in fewer songs, but more effectively (for instance, the melodic shrieking he offers on '...and The World Will Go On Without You' is as stunning as that on 'Kingdom Of Tyrants' and almost as stunning as that on 'Manufactured Extinct') should be given credit. All of his shrieking passages have been fantastic and none felt excessive apart from the one of 'Dead End Residents', which is a major success. The songwriting generally doesn’t rely on catchy choruses that much, focusing on multiple elements working nicely in tandem instead, a perfect example being 'We Eat Our Young', a killer track that doesn’t feature a chorus in the first place, yet still impressing the listener with the beastly beauty of its flow.
The album’s riffs are as impressive as always, yet even more creative and less uniform in terms of their style. For instance, my personal favorite on the album, 'Scourge Of The Offspring' contains a very Convulsing/late Decapitated-kind of riff, while the beginning and the 2:43 part of 'A Photic Doom' remind me a lot of Inferi. However, the album also possesses several awesome songs on which the band stayed loyal to their style, such as 'The Storm Upstairs' with an immensely catchy chorus riff and 'Solastalgia' with an excellent use of choir and Olivier Pinard’s great buzzy bass. The band even managed to write a decent sequel to the closing masterpiece of their previous work, a 10-minute-long symphony of pain and destruction with a quite bleak name 'Just Another Body'. While not as brilliant as 'Death Atlas', the song conveys the feeling of hopelessness through the use of powerful synths combined with the constant tempo changes and does not get boring thanks to its unpredictable structure possessing, among other things, a short yet cool breakdown and an excellent passage with Ryan’s speech and screaming combined alongside very beautiful synths (a re-make, as any fan will guess, of the "TO BE ALIVE IS TO SQUANDER EVERYTHING" part of 'Death Atlas').
So, aside from its bad joke of a cover, Terrasite is a killer death metal album that any fan of late Cattle Decapitation is likely to enjoy. Definitely one of the best releases this year and one of the most solid records in the band’s discography.
Rating: 9 out of 10445