Cattle Decapitation
Cattle Decapitation at Inferno 2016 - 26166510895.jpg
Cattle Decapitation in 2016
Background information
OriginSan Diego, California, U.S.
Years active1996 (1996)–present
  • Travis Ryan
  • Josh Elmore
  • Dave McGraw
  • Belisario Dimuzio
  • Olivier Pinard
Past members
  • Scott Miller
  • Gabe Serbian
  • Dave Astor
  • Michael Laughlin
  • Troy Oftedal
  • Derek Engemann

Cattle Decapitation is an American deathgrind band from San Diego, California, formed in 1996. The band's current lineup includes vocalist Travis Ryan, guitarists Josh Elmore and Belisario Dimuzio, bassist Olivier Pinard, and drummer David McGraw. Cattle Decapitation have released seven albums, the most recent being Death Atlas, which was released on November 29, 2019.[5]


Founded in 1996, the band started with an entirely vegan lineup. Only two current members are vegetarian, namely Travis Ryan and Josh Elmore.[6][7]

The 2002 album To Serve Man saw controversy in Germany, where distribution company SPV refused to handle the album due to its graphic cover.[8] 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.[9]

Dave McGraw in 2018

Former member Gabe Serbian is a member of the band The Locust.[10] 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".[8] In August 2009, Cattle Decapitation parted ways with long-time bassist Troy Oftedal because of "musical and personal differences".[11] Cattle Decapitation's album Monolith of Inhumanity was released in 2012. It received positive reviews upon release.[12][13]

Cattle Decapitation has toured with extreme metal acts including Suffocation, Cryptopsy, The Black Dahlia Murder, Deicide, Behemoth, Hate Eternal, Krisiun and Job for a Cowboy.[14] The band also participated in Metal Blade Record's Scion A/V Showcase in late 2012.[15]

Travis Ryan in 2018

The band spent the majority of 2014 writing a new record.[16] 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".[17] It was released through Metal Blade Records on August 7, 2015.[18]

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."[19] 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."[20][21]

In August 2018, the band announced the addition of Cryptopsy bass player Olivier Pinard, as well as the promotion of touring rhythm guitarist Belisario Dimuzio to being a full time member,[22] thus making the group a five piece for the first time. The recording of the seventh studio album Death Atlas began in May 2019, and was released November 2019.[23] The band are currently working on their eighth studio album, due to be released in early 2023

Lyrical themes[]

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. The band's lyrics are largely concerned with human impact on the environment, the ethics of eating meat and animal rights.

Ryan comments: "Josh and I are what you would call "vegetarian". We've tried and tried to be as up front about that as possible but the entire media world thinks we are hardline vegan, which in turn trickled down to fans and we're just not. I've been vegan at points but I try to be as correct as possible and point blank, there's times on tour where I just don't know if what I've been given to eat has eggs or dairy in it and the road is rather unfriendly to us. We aren't afforded the luxury of going to a Whole Foods at 3 am after a show. At that point it's fucking Taco Bell or something disgusting. You're driving down the road burning fossil fuels and your vehicle is covered in the carcasses of insects and sometimes birds and other animals. So how far does one take it? This is why I can't claim vegan. I live my life with as much compassion as I can for others, the environment and the animals though. At home it's much easier."[24]




Cattle Decapitation discography
Studio albums7
Music videos8
Split albums1

Studio albums[]

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions
Year Album details Peak chart positions


2002 To Serve Man
2004 Humanure
  • Released: July 13, 2004
  • Label: Metal Blade
2006 Karma.Bloody.Karma
  • Released: July 11, 2006
  • Label: Metal Blade
2009 The Harvest Floor
  • Released: January 20, 2009
  • Label: Metal Blade
2012 Monolith of Inhumanity
  • Released: May 8, 2012
  • Label: Metal Blade
6 32 18
2015 The Anthropocene Extinction
  • Released: August 7, 2015
  • Label: Metal Blade
5 5 100 88
2019 Death Atlas
  • Released: November 29, 2019
  • Label: Metal Blade
3 116 56
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart.

Compilation albums[]


Year Album details
1999 Human Jerky
  • Released: 1999
  • Label: Three One G
2000 Homovore
  • Released: May 2, 2000
  • Label: Three One G
2000 ¡Decapitacion!
  • Released: 2000
  • Label: Accident Prone

Split albums[]

Year Album details
2005 Cattle Decapitation / Caninus
  • Released: November 24, 2005
  • Label: War Torn Records


Year Album details
1996 Ten Torments of the Damned
  • Released: 1996
  • Label: independent

Music videos[]

List of music videos, showing year released and director
Year Title Album Director(s)
2002 "To Serve Man" To Serve Man Russ Herpich
2004 "Reduced to Paste" Humanure
2009 "Regret and the Grave" The Harvest Floor Gary Smithson
"A Body Farm"
2012 "Kingdom of Tyrants" Monolith of Inhumanity Mitch Massie
"Forced Gender Reassignment"
2013 "Your Disposal"
2016 "Clandestine Ways (Krokodil Rot)" The Anthropocene Extinction
2017 "The Prophets of Loss" Paul McGuire
2020 "Bring Back the Plague" Death Atlas
2021 "Finish Them" Nicholas Vidler


  1. ^ Andy Hermann.Seeing Cattle Decapitation at Los Globos Just Made Me a Deathgrind Fan Archived December 1, 2017, at the Wayback Machine. LA Weekly. January 6, 2015.
  2. ^ Bayer, Gerd, Heavy Metal Music in Britain (Ashgate Publishing, 2013), p.60.
  3. ^ "Staff Review: Cattle Decapitation – The Anthropocene Extinction | Sputnikmusic". SputnikMusic. August 12, 2015. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  4. ^ Cattle Decapitation at AllMusic
  5. ^ Cattle Decapitation to Release New Album Death Atlas on the Most Metal of Release Dates | MetalSucks, July 12, 2019, archived from the original on July 12, 2019, retrieved October 23, 2019
  6. ^ "Cattle Decapitation: vegetarian death metal". NUVO. Archived from the original on January 3, 2015. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
  7. ^ Matt, Metal (July 6, 2012). "CATTLE DECAPITATION'S TRAVIS RYAN: THE METALSUCKS INTERVIEW". Archived from the original on May 13, 2016. Retrieved June 9, 2016.
  8. ^ a b Metal: The Definitive Guide, page 169
  9. ^ Sanford, Jay Allen (November 19, 2008). "Cattle Decapitation Veggie Burgers, plus History of San Diego Music Parts 1 thru 7". sandiegoreader.com. San Diego Reader. Archived from the original on December 28, 2008. Retrieved December 9, 2008.
  10. ^ "metalweb interview". Archived from the original on July 23, 2008.
  11. ^ "Cattle Decapitation Parts Ways With Bassist, Announces Replacement - Blabbermouth.net". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. Archived from the original on August 16, 2009. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
  12. ^ "Review: Cattle Decapitation – Monolith of Inhumanity". Archived from the original on January 1, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
  13. ^ "Cattle Decapitation – "Monolith of Inhumanity" Album Review – Thrash Magazine". Archived from the original on January 3, 2015. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
  14. ^ "JOB FOR A COWBOY announce headlining tour with CATTLE DECAPITATION & WHITECHAPEL – Metal Injection". March 1, 2010. Archived from the original on February 23, 2015. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  15. ^ "SIX FEET UNDER, CATTLE DECAPITATION And More Confirmed For Scion A/V Label Showcase". bravewords.com. Archived from the original on January 1, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
  16. ^ "Cattle Decapitation - Writing Material For New Album". Metal Storm. Archived from the original on January 31, 2021. Retrieved November 1, 2021.
  17. ^ Staff writer(s) (May 20, 2015). "CATTLE DECAPITATION to release The Anthropocene Extinction this August via Metal Blade Records". metalblade.com. Metal Blade Records. Archived from the original on May 23, 2015. Retrieved May 21, 2015.
  18. ^ "PHILIP ANSELMO To Guest On New CATTLE DECAPITATION Album". May 20, 2015. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved August 6, 2015.
  19. ^ "Safety | Colorado State University". archive.is. May 5, 2018. Archived from the original on May 5, 2018. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  20. ^ Swenson, Kyle (May 4, 2018). "Two Native American brothers were touring a Colo. college when a parent called police. They say it was racial profiling". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on May 5, 2018. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  21. ^ "(4) Cattle Decapitation – Posts". archive.is. May 5, 2018. Archived from the original on May 5, 2018. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  22. ^ "Cattle Decapitation announces new band members | Metal Blade Records". Archived from the original on October 23, 2019. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
  23. ^ CATTLE DECAPITATION TO BEGIN RECORDING EIGHTH STUDIO ALBUM Archived May 25, 2019, at the Wayback Machine. loudwire.com. GRAHAM HARTMANN. March 25, 2019.
  24. ^ INTERVIEW: TRAVIS RYAN OF CATTLE DECAPITATION Archived November 12, 2020, at the Wayback Machine. July 22, 2015. moshville.co.uk
  25. ^ "Cattle Decapitation – Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  26. ^ "Cattle Decapitation – Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  27. ^ "Cattle Decapitation – Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  28. ^ "Cattle Decapitation – Chart History". Billboard. Archived from the original on February 12, 2019. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  29. ^ "Discographie Cattle Decapitation". GfK Entertainment. Archived from the original on November 1, 2021. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  30. ^ Andrew Sacher (September 20, 2018). "Long-rumored Cattle Decapitation Rarities Compilation Finally Coming This Fall". BrooklynVegan. Archived from the original on September 20, 2018. Retrieved September 20, 2018.

External links[]