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Six Feet Under: Nightmares of the Decomposed

One of the best things Six Feet Under has going for them is that their albums generally sell well even if they aren’t especially strong. This is good news for vocalist Chris Barnes since many people will always see him as living under the shadow of the better-known Cannibal Corpse, the band he fronted from 1988-1995. After being asked to leave that band, Barnes founded Six Feet Under and has put out a steady pace of albums with them ever since. The band is currently comprised of Barnes (vocals), Jeff Hughell (bass), Marco Pitruzella (drums), Ray Suhy (guitars) and Jack Owen (guitars). Like Barnes, Owen was also a founding member of Cannibal Corpse and, I have to admit, I think it’s cool they are playing together again. Owen is a terrific guitarist and his playing stands out nicely on this release. He also played a big role in writing the music on this album. Perhaps not surprisingly, Barnes wrote the lyrics. His imagination for violence and gore knows no bounds.

In terms of the overall album, you might like it if you already like Six Feet Under and you really want something more from them. Six Feet Under definitely has a consistent sound and this album works hard to check off all the usual boxes. There are some solid moments here and it is unlikely that the band is going to slow down anytime soon.

For those who don’t like Six Feet Under, this album honestly won’t change your mind. Many people online have pointed out that the vocals on this album just aren’t very strong. There are some decent moments when Barnes honestly sounds OK, but for the most part he is barking and gurgling to little effect. What’s worse, though, is the way he lets out these unpredictable squeals that never quite feel natural to the music. Barnes likes to mess with his listeners and there are reasons to push against listener expectations. But the squeals here sound more like an extreme metal version of Jim Carrey’s “most annoying sound in the world” than something experimental. They also appear far more often than they should. It’s hard to hang out and enjoy a good death metal song when a potentially annoying “EEEEEEEEE!” is a constant possibility. “The Noose” was especially hard to enjoy in this respect�"as was “The Rotting” and “Migraine.”

This is not to say that things are bad from start to finish. Songs like “Amputator” and “Drink Blood Get High” were OK. There may even be some reasons to enjoy “Zodiac” (but that will depend on how willing you are to go along with a little extra attention to Barnes’s voice). The album certainly isn’t essential listening, but you may find a few things to like here and there.

Track Listing:
1. Amputator
2. Zodiac
3. The Rotting
4. Death Will Follow
5. Migraine
6. The Noose
7. Blood of the Zombie
8. Self Imposed Death Sentence
9. Dead Girls Don’t Scream
10. Drink Blood Get High
11. Labyrinth of Insanity
12. Without Your Life

Added: December 10th 2020
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Bandcamp Page
Hits: 715
Language: english

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