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Six Feet Under
Commandment
July 2007
Released: Apri, Metal Blade
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Hanntu

Six Feet Under was the band that Chris Barnes involved himself in after leaving/getting kicked out of the legendary New York death metal band Cannibal Corpse in 1995. Joining him was the guitarist from Obituary Allen West, who was later replaced by Steve Swanson, and rounded out by bassist Terry Butler and drummer Greg Gall, who have been in the band ever since.



Six Feet Under are a weird bunch. A death metal band that, while maintaining the genre’s fascination with gore, blood, torture and violence, regularly incorporates discussions of political issues into their lyrics. A death metal band that has eschewed the traditional lightning attack of drumming and riffing in favour of a more midpaced, stoner, groove-oriented experience. A death metal band that released TWO albums consisting entirely of covers – GRAVEYARD CLASSICS I which was largely tolerated, and GRAVEYARD CLASSICS II, the remake of AC/DC’s BACK IN BLACK album, which was roundly condemned. So, they’re not your average death metal band then.



Well, the long suffering fans of Six Feet Under will be happy to know that they have in their hands a quite average, normal, safe death metal release. The album is slightly faster than their groove-rock approach in their first two albums WARPATH and HAUNTED, almost reminiscent of MAXIMUM VIOLENCE. It has an almost downtuned thrashy feel to it, palm muted chugging about 90% of the time, and I’m absolutely loving the guitar tone on this album. Heavy and aggressive, the riffs bounce around your cranium, with just that right amount of growl and snarl in it. And it is impossible not to headbang to the pulse in the album. The bass is amazingly clear and can be distinctly heard over the guitarist. The only disappointing aspect is the drumming, which although competent isn’t exciting. Chris Barnes is in excellent voice, I’ve always been a big fan of Cannibal Corpse TOMB OF THE MUTILATED-era, and one of the main reasons was Chris Barnes hateful growling. I don’t have the lyric sheet, so I can’t tell you about Six Feet Under’s famous humour and general weirdoness.



COMMANDMENT doesn’t break new ground. It’s not especially fast (duh), it’s not especially technical, it’s not especially exciting, it’s not especially catchy, it’s not especially bad or dull or under/over-produced or shit or crap or excellent. It’s just…okay. If you like death metal, get it; if you’ve heard it all before, then it’s best to save your hard earned cash for something else.
Track Listing

1. Doomsday
2. Thou Shalt Kill
3. Zombie Executioner
4. The Edge of the Hatchet
5. Bleed to Death
6. Resurrection of the Rotten
7. As the Blade Turns
8. The Evil Eye
9. In a Vacant Grave
10. Ghosts of the Undead

Lineup

Chris Barnes: vocals
Steve Swanson: guitars
Terry Butler: bass
Greg Gall: drums


Next review: » Six Feet Under - Commandment
Previous review: » Six Feet Under - Commandment

Six Feet Under
Commandment
December 2007
Released: 2007, Metal Blade Records
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Waspman

Well, Chris Barnes certainly is a persistent guy isn’t he? I mean, you certainly can’t fault his dedication to death metal. After all, he toiled away in Cannibal Corpse for 7 years, formed this band in 1993, and still going strong today. Scary. Anyway, COMMANDMENT is SFU’s seventh full-length album, not included live and covers albums and I have to say that I’ve never been a fan. I’ve heard a few songs here and there, and had the misfortune to be tortured all the way through both covers discs (Graveyard “Classics”, my ass), but somehow Six Feet Under have never really been on my radar.



Given that, I assumed that I knew what to expect going into my first listen of COMMANDMENT. After all, early Cannibal Corpse is your standard workman-like death metal, and word is that Six Feet Under is similar, but even groovier. Well, after just one listen, it’s obvious that IS the case. Six Feet Under are doing nothing spectacular, but their brand of death metal is a good for a quick neck thrashing. Take the driving “The Edge of the Hatchet” for example: it’s got a great, old-school central riff, catchy vocal lines from Barnes, and the usual “kill you” lyrics. All in all, good fun. It’s also cool that you can make out what Barnes is howling about – it`s not often you get decipherable growls.



Truthfully, given the technicality inherent in a lot of modern death metal these days, Six Feet Under’s stripped down approach is refreshing – to a point. Repeated listens tend to not hold up very well, as you realize that the album is basically beginner’s death metal. Still, love ‘em or hate ‘em, SFU are both controversial and popular, so they must be doing something right. If you’ve got a hankering for a simpler death metal with an old-school approach, then you may just want to check out COMMANDMENT.
Track Listing

1) Doomsday
2) Thou Shall Kill
3) Zombie Executioner
4) The Edge of the Hatchet
5) Bled to Death
6) Resurrection of the Rotten
7) As the Blade Turns
8) The Evil Eye
9) A Vacant Grave
10) Ghosts of the Undead

Lineup

Chris Barnes: Vocals
Steve Swanson: Guitars
Greg Gall: Drums
Terry Butler: Bass


Next review: » Six Feet Under - Death Rituals
Previous review: » Six Feet Under - Commandment





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