Episode 402: Cattle Decapitation, Blood Incantation, Sentient Horror 2019 Album Reviews + Xoth, Yonsample Bandcamp Picks

This Is Important

Why is this important, you ask?  Well, mostly because we cover a few albums that may affect our upcoming year-end lists.  Also, one of these albums just has a heavy, significant message to the world. Oh, and maybe that’s just an attention-grabbing title.


Cattle Decapitation – Death Atlas (Metal Blade)
Blood Incantation – Hidden History Of The Human Race (Dark Descent)
Sentient Horror Morbid Realms (Redefining Darkness)

X is for


Y is for


  1. Ok Bob – I’ll bite. I had sampled some of the Tool album a while ago and determined I didn’t care enough to do a full review, but since it made your #1 and you are specifically calling us out for skipping it, I gave it a full listen last week and tried my best to be open minded going into it because I am predisposed to not be impressed.

    From the jump, before we start on the album, I do need to take a bit of issue/differing of opinion in that 10,000 Days was a “valley and not a downward slope.” I know this is not the popular opinion, but I was hit or miss on Lateralus. There are some great songs, sure, but I felt at that time that it was a bit long in the tooth and more self indulgent than it needed to be. Their pinnacle, for me, was AEnima. So, 10,000 Days just expanded on the long runtime meandering nothingness and was largely uninteresting. Granted, I do think that 3 of their best songs ever were on that album, they were just surrounded by an hour of nothing. Thus, I would argue that Lateralus was the beginning of the slope, and 10,000 Days picked up speed.

    That takes us to today, 13 years later, where the absolute best we can hope for is maybe they put out something as good as an album I was largely indifferent to from 18 years ago. (….starting to see why we didn’t review this?! …and between me and Brian, I am the fan of them.)

    Having now listened to the full album, here’s my review: It’s a 3. They put out a competent Tool album. A few interesting riffs, a couple decent songs, and lot of the same The Grudge/Vicarious/Jambi rhythms and rolls on the drums and bass that we’ve heard a ton in the past. Nothing reinventing the wheel and still WAY too much filler. An hour and a half is just fucking insanity.

    And here’s the kicker – if this came out 10 years ago, it’d be a 4. I’d be saying it was definitely more cohesive than 10,000 Days and a step in the right direction, even if it could use some heavy editing. But, to make people wait 13 years for a bunch of filler and few good riffs that sound like they were probably crafted between the writing of the last 2 albums in back rooms while on tour – I just don’t care.

    There’s a couple decent moments on here and if terrestrial radio was still a thing so I could here the songs paired down to the 6 minute mark instead of all coming in around 12, I may like it.

    As it stands, I don’t need this in my life.


    1. To close the thread on Tool, I guess I had assumed you guys liked Tool more than you actually do. Even though you’ve been doing the podcast for most of a decade, Tool still hadn’t released an album up until now so the topic never really came up and I just always assumed you’d review it at some point. Also knowing that the album was released right when you guys went away I kept thinking you were saving reviewing it for some milestone event. When that didn’t happen, I just had to know why. Now I know!

  2. Without further ado, here are my top 12 albums of 2019:

    12. Russian Circles – Blood Year
    11. Pelican – Nighttime Stories
    Two very similar albums, and while I think Russian Circles is the better band, Pelican released the (ever so slightly) better album in 2019.

    10. Spirit Adrift – Divided by Darkness
    Divided by Darkness solidifies Spirit Adrift’s place as one of the top modern “traditional doom” bands, right up there with Khemmis.

    9. Gloryhammer – Legends from Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex
    This is Gloryhammer’s best album to date, even if they last song on the album is too long. The rest of it is even catchier and even more fun than ever.

    8. Idle Hands – Mana
    7. Aephanemer – Prokopton
    Idle Hands and Aephanemer are my two “finds” for 2019, meaning bands I hadn’t heard of before but really made a big impression on me this year. Even though they are different genres, both brought new things to the table for me, from Idle Hands catchy goth-rock chock full of “uh” moments, to Aephanemer releasing this year’s best melo death album.

    6. Cattle Decapitation – Death Atlas
    This is a bit of a cheat, because if I’m being honest I simply haven’t given this album enough listens to truly know for sure where this slots in for 2019. But the very act of creating a list like this is a product of the time I make it. If I go back and redo my list from last year I’m sure there would be changes to it. So here’s where I feel Cattle Decap slates in for 2019.

    5. Soen – Lotus
    4. Opeth – In Cauda Venenum
    Drummer Martin Lopez left Opeth to become a founding member of Soen, and both bands continue to produce great music since their split 9 years ago. Soen’s brand of progressive (non-death) metal leans on some influence from Tool, Leprous, and of course Opeth. While Opeth continues to evolve with every single album and this year the released their second best post-death metal album in 2019 (2014’s Pale Communion being their best post-death metal album).

    3. Allegaeon – Apoptosis
    This band can do no wrong. While Apoptosis isn’t as catchy as 2016’s Proponent for Sentience, their brand of technical death metal never fails to impress.

    2. Devin Townsend – Empath
    Throughout Devin Townsend’s career, he’s released albums of all sorts of styles. But Empath is his one album that incorporates ALL his styles. Empath has it all and takes you along for a crazy journey through Hevy Devy’s wide ranging palate to create something only he could do.

    1. Tool – Fear Inoculum
    So I have to know: WHY HAVEN”T YOU REVIEWED THIS ALBUM?!? I do know that you were both on European vacations approximately the time it was released, but can you really not go back even a couple of weeks to review something? Are you holding out for the mother of all “shit you missed” segments? Did you feel as though since you waited 13 years for a new Tool album that you could wait another couple of months? Whatever the reason, all I can say is that you are missing out on the album of the year.

    1. Interesting list! I don’t want discuss it too much because you have some albums we are going to discuss in the next episode. But to answer your question about “Fear Inoculum” – we don’t care. Nick cares maybe a little more than I do, but neither of us have listened it. And honestly, it MIGHT be a “shit we missed” but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Pelican could happen though, or maybe Aephanhammer, if we decide to maybe bring some “B-Sides” to the show.

      1. Well… I get it that you don’t care about new music from a lot of older, big bands such as Slayer or Megadeth or even Iron Maiden. But Tool??? It’s one thing if a band has been on a downward slope for years or even decades, and even I who love the recent stuff from Iron Maiden can understand that their new stuff isn’t the same as stuff from the 80s. But Tool releasing one sub-par album in 10,000 Days to me represents a valley and not a downward slope. Additionally, after 13 years, aren’t you the least bit curious to find out if Tool was able to recapture any of that magic that they had on Lateralus? For me, 18 years later, Lateralus stands out as one of those albums that gets better with age. If Tool could come up with something in 2019 that is even marginally as good as Lateralus, then they’d have done their job. And you know what? Mission accomplished.

      2. My reply will be shorter – I never really got into Tool. I had not listened to any album until a few years ago where Mallory played them in various car trips. And my favorite of them was Undertow. I just never got into them they’re not for me. It has nothing to do with their age or trajectory…I just never really cared. – Brian

  3. I just realized I never wrote some live reviews. I saw Allegaeon with Paladin and Inferi. And the winner was… Paladin! (by a hair). The lead guitarist/vocalist from Paladin is very impressive and shows a lot of potential. Their brand of power metal and thrash reminds me of Holy Grail. And both Inferi and Allegaeon were very good and the crowd at Kingsland in Brooklyn were all into it.

    And then Slayer played at Madison Square Garden with Phil Anselmo, Ministry, and Primus. Phil Anselmo got the crowd going with a short set of all Pantera songs. Al Jourgensen clearly knows what his best material is because I think he only played stuff from Land of Rape and Honey and Psalm 69. Then Primus played a nice set. And then I wish I could give you more detail about how Slayer was but the truth is that I had way too much to drink and don’t remember much of it beyond the fact that I had a good time. I’ve been really trying to cut back lately and have actually succeeded quite well at it with the exception of this night where I fell off the wagon.

    Oh, and I didn’t end up going to see Tool. I didn’t have tickets and when I looked into getting them they were way too expensive for someone who doesn’t have a job.

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