Released: 2007, Metal Blade Records
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.