Saturday, February 18, 2017

review: Six Feet Under

Six Feet Under
Metal Blade Records
release: 24 February 2017
The sheer amount of talent on this album is way beyond ridiculous. Six Feet Under delivers like no one else can. On this album the multitalented, versatile singer Chris Barnes shows off the different styles that he is known for. One moment he is singing sweet notes way better than Ronnie James Dio, Michael Kiske and Klaus Meine combined. How does Chris Barnes manage to do these notes of classic heavy metal so well after all these years? He has been singing great melodies for decades and there is no slowing him down.
Let's not even get into his extreme metal virtuosity. He can do the black metal vocals better than anyone ever has. He can snarl, screech, raise his voice to the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, peppering his voice with so many levels, layers, shades, tones, colors and personalities that it makes you wonder how a human can do this.
His death metal vocals represent so many sides. The screams are reminiscent of the young Chuck Schuldiner, except that this is way better, as metal aficionados have known for decades. You think David Vincent was good in his prime, well, get a load of this album and you will be taken back to the glory of the early 90s. Chris Barnes spices up the growling with many shouts and exclamations, like Tom G. Warrior was known to do and as Barney Greenway has perfected with "thrash!," "ugh!," and other Napalm Death phrases. Immolation and Nile wish that they could have growling this good. Oh, if only death metal bands would listen to the master at work and hear the dozens of variations within death metal vocals taking place here.
The musicianship is off the charts. The guitars solos bring melody, speed and technical wizardly like nobody's business. Every song is loaded with memorable riffs and hooks, combining the best elements of Hate Eternal's speed, Nile's songwriting prowess, and Yngwie Malmsteen flare for soloing. On top of that, you can hear so much classic heavy metal riffing worked into the songs, from Mercyful Fate, Accept and Judas Priest.
But you already knew all this. All albums by Six Feet Under sound this talented and skilled. This new is no different. I better stop because there is no point in preaching to the choir. I think I'm going to go listen to Immolation so that I can laugh at those guys for their no-talent songs, then I will go listen to Kiske-era Helloween so that I ridicule the lack of good singing. After that, I'll go scorn Kreator's Violent Revolution and Enemy of God for the lack of good riffs and the pitiful solos and sorry melodies found on those albums.
A new Six Feet Under album means excellence. Everything is right in the world again.
review by MMB

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