SIX FEET UNDER - "TRUE CARNAGE" (METAL BLADE)
Six Feet Under is one of the true death metal bands...though perhaps that sentence ought to have had the word 'arguably' in it, whatever. They have released album after album of death metal mayhem, with the exception of their "Graveyard Classics" covers compilation that was received with mixed reactions.
"True Carnage" is, not counting the covers album, their fourth full-length album. 'Full-length' is perhaps stretching the term a bit, as the album is only about 34 minutes long. I'd loved to have had some more, but then again weren't all early Slayer albums barely half an hour long?
Chris Barnes is one of death metal's most vicious sounding vocalists. With every album his grunt seems to sink another octave, his vicious screams attaining yet another dimension of putrid aggression. Listen to the opener, "Impulse to Disembowel", a delicious romper of a death metal track, and you'll know what I mean. After that you get some up-tempo tracks ("The Day the Dead Walked", "Waiting for Decay" with a very deep grunt and "Cadaver Mutilator") and a lot of slow and decidedly heavy stuff. "It Never Dies" is very heavy, "The Murderers" is even heavier and slower, and "Knife, Gun, Axe" is much like it, too. When played at full volume, these tracks shake the windows, torment your soul, and make you feel real good if you're feeling bad. Worth mentioning separately are the two tracks with guest vocal appearances. "One Bullet Left" is a fine track with Ice T on additional vocals, adding quite something extra. It starts off with general shoutings of abuse, not that inspired or mature, but then actually goes somewhere. Second track with guest vocals is "Sick and Twisted", which is much in the vein of earlier Six Feet Under work. Vocalist Karyn Crisis (of Crisis) spends some time screaming and doesn't fit with the track, actually. Not that much of a success.
In the multimedia section there's the video of "The Day the Dead Walked", which, um, you're unlikely to see on eMpTyV any day soon :-)
I am not sure if this is one of the most important death metal releases of the year, however Six Feet Under have succeeding in recording another fine album with some new and plenty of familiar ingredients.
Written August 2001
Go to the Official Six Feet Under site
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