Best of 2021: Cattle Decapitation's Travis Ryan Picks Favorite Album, Song, Movie | Revolver

Best of 2021: Cattle Decapitation's Travis Ryan Picks Favorite Album, Song, Movie

Singer praises French synthwave, Cali occult rock, "glorious" 'Transformers' update, more
cattle decapitation travis ryan 2019 vince edwards, Vince Edwards
Cattle Decapitation's Travis Ryan, 2019
photograph by Vince Edwards

Revolver has teamed with Cattle Decapitation on a limited-edition "Streptococci" vinyl variant of their 2000 sophomore album Homovore on "opaque red, pink and bone white splatter" wax. Only 300 were made — get yours before they're gone!

2021 has been, without a doubt, one of the most memorable years in modern music history. The invisible elephant in the room was obviously COVID-19, which triggered the unprecedented year-plus blackout on nearly all live shows. Thankfully this spring's widespread vaccination rollout proved effective enough for the restrictions to lift, and by summer bands were finally able to hit stages throughout the country.

While we're not quite in "post-COVID" times just yet, the sheer joy of experiencing the cranked sounds and singular energy of live in-person gatherings big and small — from sweaty Turnstile club gigs and raucous Slipknot road shows to massive Metallica-led festivals — was beyond rejuvenating.

Plus, there's also been a bunch of killer albums released this year to keep us entertained in between mosh pits. Old-school heavies Iron Maiden, Carcass and At the Gates brought the heat, scene leaders Mastodon and Gojira upped the ante, Converge and Chelsea Wolfe dropped a bomb collab and a clutch of up-and-coming trailblazers — Spiritbox, Jinjer, Turnstile, Scowl, Portrayal of Guilt and more — pushed heavy music into exciting new territories. (See Revolver's 25 favorite albums of 2021 here.)

As we close the books on 2021, we're catching up with some of our favorite artists to get their picks for the best of the best of the past year. Below, Cattle Decapitation singer Travis Ryan shares his favorite shit: from New Skeletal Faces' Watain-meets–Christian Death expressions to the new "glorious 4K render" of The Transformers: The Movie.

Best Album: 'Lustful Sacraments' by Perturbator

This has been on regular rotation on my turntable since I got the LP. Love this guy's stuff. It's been freaking me out that people in their 20s and early 30s can come up with stuff that takes some of my favorite stuff of the Eighties and makes it very "now" without losing that sensibility from the Eighties. Bands like Choir Boy, Soft Kill, New Skeletal Faces …

Best Song: "Banshee Sex Tomb" by New Skeletal Faces

This band is just on fire right out the gate. They've been a band for a few years but are now starting to gain some traction. Reminds me of if one of the dudes from Watain or Midnight put together a tribute to Only Theatre of Pain–era Christian Death with Simon Gallup of the Cure or something. I simply love this band, they're local to me [in California] and you might find yourself coming back in a year and pretending that you knew.

Best TV Show: Reservation Dogs

I really liked this show. Having grown up near "the rez" and played many shows in and around New Mexico, meeting native fans and having native friends as well as growing up in the Southwestern part of the U.S., I enjoyed this slice-of-life story of kids growing up on the reservation. Great show, I recommend it and I look forward to seeing future seasons.

Best Video Game: Warzone

It didn't come out this year but it's had a ton of updates this year and I don't care, I'm going with Warzone. I fucking love this game and I wish it had been around when I was a kid.

Best Movie: The Transformers: The Movie

The only movie I went to see in theaters since before COVID: Transformers: The Movie from 1986 in a glorious 4K render that showed for like one week in theaters across the country recently. I did some voiceover work for these short films that they showed before the movie started that were stop-motion animation of the actual toys. I was obsessed with that movie as a kid and then into adulthood I still love it. One of my favorite soundtracks of all time. I voiced Galvatron, the Sweeps, one of the Quintesson Judges and my first ever guttural vocal inspiration: Unicron. That character was Orson Welles' last performance before he succumbed to cancer one week after he finished his voice parts for the movie. I got to attend the screening in Beverly Hills with members of the original cast, [musician] Stan Bush [whose song "The Touch," which was featured in the film] and Vince DiCola, the composer of the soundtrack. That day and that voiceover experience will go down as some of the top coolest stuff I've ever had the fortune of being a part of.