Live Review: Cattle Decapitation – Terrasite Over Europe 2024 at O2 Academy Islington (08/03/2024)

Cattle Decapitation arrive in London on a Friday night with their uncompromising Terrasite Over Europe tour supported by Signs of the Swarm, 200 Stab Wounds and Vomit Forth.

The American heavyweights released their 8th studio album, Terrasite, back in May 2023 and have been hard at it both at the end of last year and now continuing into this year, promoting the hell out of it. For us, that culminates in a pretty lengthy European headline tour that runs throughout March. The band will hit 27 venues as hard as they can, across 12 countries and have some additional heavyweights in supprt with them in Signs of the Swarm, 200 Stab Wounds and Vomit Forth. Basically, this is gonna hurt.

I’m a huge fan of Cattle Decapitation and have been waiting to see them live, on their own tour for a while. I did get the pleasure of seeing them play Bloodstock Festival a few years back but Covid put aside my previous plans to catch them play. That would have been on the Death Atlas tour cycle but now, years later and with another masterpiece in their armoury in Terrasite, I head to the O2 Academy in Islington for a night of crushing death metal and I cannot wait.

Cattle Decapitation Terrasite Over Europe Band Lineup

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Unfortunately travel after work meant I didn’t get to catch any of Vomit Forth, something I definitely plan to rectify in the future as they are a top band. I was in the venue for 200 Stab Wounds though made the stupid decision to go upstairs as the downstairs, main area was packed. I don’t know how familiar you are with the O2 Academy Islington but it has one of the msot pointless upstairs areas I have ever seen in a venue. It’s fine for a breakout area, if you need to escape or chill, but to actually see the band, unless you are one of the 20 people maximum hugging the balcony railings, you can’t see a thing because the balcony stretches almost out to where the stage starts.

That means you need to pretty much be looking directly downwards and also means being just 1 person back from the railings, you see nothing but stage lights.

Still, what I couldn’t see was made up for with what I could hear and they sounded brilliant, really warming up a packed venue with their meaty and aggressive stomping sounds.

Sick of being upstairs, we headed back down into the sweaty masses ready for Signs of the Swarm. And wow, I have to say, I thought these guys killed it.Vocally they are so strong and have real stage presence.

Cattle Decapitation Terrasite Over Europe Signs of the Swarm

I’m not going to pretend I am super familiar with Signs of the Swarm but knew enough. This was my first time seeing them live though and I was really impressed. They worked the crowd well, had everyone moving and a strong pit going in the centre. I loved the energy on stage and they had real stage presence. The vocals were absolutely killer and musically they sounded really tight. A fair few tracks from their most recent album, 2023’s Amongst The Low And Empty got aired and sounded even heavier, even more brutal live then they do on record. We got to hear the title track, as well as Tower of Torsos, Pray For Death, Borrowed Time and my personal favourite, Shackles Like Talons in a set that made Signs of the Swarm appear ready to be headlining a stage such as this.

As often happens to me, I feel, I find myself getting blown away by a support band and starting to forget how good a main act are. I start wondering whether the main band will be able to live up to the quality of such support and thats how good Signs of the Swarm were.

What also inevitably happens to me is that I am often quickly reminded by that main band, why they are the main band and when Cattle Decapitation take to the stage to deliver their final chapter of London’s Terrasite Over Europe show, you see exactly why they are leaders of this genre and this show. When they eventually get to the stage! Man that felt like hours waiting for them to get going – it wasn’t, it was more like 40 minutes, but even that is long for a change over. You kind of feel that when the opening bands have done such a good job of getting the crowd fired up, 40 minutes would maybe drain them of that adrenaline peak.

This is no ordinary band though so it takes them all of about 10 seconds of arriving on stage for the whole sold out and raucous crowd to get going again. Cattle Decapitation killed it and sounded absolutely amazing with vocalist Travis Ryan utilising evey tone and range at his disposal to deliver an electrifying front man performance.

Cattle Decapitation Terrasite Over Europe Band 2

Being Terrasite Over Europe, they of course banged out some absolutely killer tracks from the Terrasite album. And some of my absolute favourites as well. Coming out to Terrasitic Adaptation, we go for a triple header following that up with We Eat Our Young and then the insanely good Scourge of the Offspring. I can’t state enough how good they sound. The drums and bass are shaking the room, the guitars crunchy and screaming and the vocals, layered up with lots of echo are powerful and impressive. I do get that the clean type vocals isn’t to everyone’s taste but I love them and Travis sounds amazing. Everyone here clearly loves them too as the pit swells in songs that are brutal, heavy yet somehow feel epic as well.

Travis isn’t a man of many words between songs so, a few short statements aside, we move from killer track to killer track. Monlith of Inhumanity’s Dead Set on Suicide gets aired before we get another fiery Terrasite beast in The Storm Upstairs followed by a look back to Death Atlas with another of my all time favourites, Bring Back the Plague. This song is amazing and is the epitome of the genius of Cattle Decapitation for me. So damn heavy, but with melody, with epic sections, with tons of groove, all while constantly poised and ready to rip your face off.

In terms of overall catalogue, these guys have plenty to use but don’t go back any further than Monolith of Inhumanity where we get Kingdom of Tyrants as the shows big closing song. On the way though, we do get The Burden of Seven Billion, Mammals in Babylon and Pacific Grim from The Anthropecene Extinction. We also get Finish Them from Death Atlas and A Photic Doom from Terrasite. It’s a set for modern Cattle Decapitation, which suits me perfectly, and still manages to leave me desperate for more.

Cattle Decapitation Terrasite Over Europe Band 1


I didn’t, for example, get to hear my personal favourite track from Terrasite which is Solastalgia so that already leaves me wanting more. What I got here though was a fantastic set from a band in a rich vein of form and seeming to be at the very peak of their powers. Travis Ryan is an immesne vocalist and the band sound really tight and are armed with a strong back catalogue of music. I can’t wait for them to come back and if you haven’t seen them yet, be sure to check out the remaining tour dates below and do yourself a favour and try to get to a show. You won’t regret it but be quick, many dates are sold out and many have low ticket warnings. Grab yours from here.

13.03.24 Ireland Limerick @ Dolan’s Warehouse
14.03.24 Ireland Dublin @ Academy
15.03.24 UK Leeds @ The Key Club
16.03.24 UK Birmingham @ Asylum
17.08.24 UK Bristol @ The Fleece
19.03.24 Germany Wiesbaden @ Schlachthof
20.03.24 Germany Munich @ Backstage
21.03.24 Austria Vienna @ Szene
22.03.24 Hungary Budapest @ Barba Negra
23.03.24 Czech Republic Prague @ MeetFactory
25.03.24 Germany Berlin @ Lido
26.03.24 Denmark Copenhagen @ Pumpehuset
27.03.24 Sweden Stockholm @ Fryhuset Klubben
28.03.24 Norway Oslo @ Inferno Metal Festival
29.03.24 Sweden Gothenburg @ Pustervik
30.03.24 Germany Hamburg @ Logo
31.03.24 Germany Essen @ Turock



  • Brendan Fisher

    Owner/Editor/Writer/YouTuber - Heavy Metal and reading, two things I have always loved so they are the two areas you will find most of my reviews. Post apocalyptic is my jam and I always have a book on the go and have for decades now. From a metal perspective, age has softened my inadequacies and I now operate with an open mind, loving many bands from many sub genres but having a particular admiration for the UK underground scene. In my other time, when not focused on Dad duties and work, I try to support the craft beer movement by drinking as much of it as I can and you will also find me out on the streets, walking. I love walking, I love exploring new places and snapping nature photos as I go.

Cattle Decapitation - Terrasite Over Europe 2024 at O2 Academy Islington (08/03/2024)
  • Cattle Decapitation - 9/10
  • Signs of the Swarm - 8.5/10
  • 200 Stab Wounds - 7.5/10
  • Vomit Forth - 0/10
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