Album Review : Six Feet Under – Crypt Of The Devil
4th May 2015, 11:00
Posted by Tristan

Imagine if you will a man, disfigured in an accident who seeks to rebuild himself. Though the only means is by incorporating bionic sections of his body. Now ask yourself this, how much of him remains human in the end process?

Returning this time with a revamped line up we see yet another change in Six Feet Under’s sound. Previously the double whammy of Undead and Unborn saw the band experiment with more modern settings, everything from the production to the overall music itself. Now the band have opted for a throwback to the days of classic early nineties death metal. Having previously worked with Cannabis Corpse as a guest vocalist on their release From Wisdom To Baked ,Chris Barnes enlisted the help of the death metallers to create Six Feet Under’s latest release, Crypt Of The Devil.

Remaining in the vein of Barnes’ classic lyrical themes the album continues on with the demented thoughts of a serial killer. Song titles that would sit nicely along the early Cannibal Corpse classics that the man is known for give way to various grim scenarios including “Broken Bottle Rape” and “Open Coffin Orgy”. Though the song titles might be in your face the musicality is much more refined. Struggling to find an identity Six Feet Under have very much been the chameleon of death metal. On this outing the band have decided to firmly root themselves in the classic early death metal era. From the production style, to the music on the album the riffs of “The Night Bleeds” echo that classic Florida death metal sound, not to mention clever use of sound effects to create that eerie sense of the unhinged. A stark contrast from the previous record where the production was pristine and essentially sounded like an amalgamation of bands. Hence the trouble of forging on when only one sole band member remains, you have to question the albums integrity.

Synonymous with the name, Barnes’ delivery remains very much the same, the wheezing screams and barking growls are prevalent throughout the album. His vocals style, years now since the hey day of death metal has become recognisable yet on this album the listener can hear the lyrics clearer than before,different enunciation with more epmphasis on sections of the lyrics make for a much more interesting listen.  The inclusion of fantastic solo’s from Brandon Ellis on tracks “Lost Remains” the ghoulish harmonies for one, are truly a breath of fresh air! Where the band have been lacking previously , tracks like “Gruesome” and single “Open Coffin Orgy” revitalise the tired soul of Six Feet Under. The marching rhytmn works perfectly with the death metal attack though I do have a slight bone to pick. The fact that things always have to be slowed down. Personally, I feel that this is such a juvenile and ultimately clunky way to change section. Making for a sudden and jarring change that completely derails the song’s momentum. With this new line up change, banding together with the Cannabis Corpse boys it very much does sound like a collaborated effort. Due in part to the incredibly significant sound the Corpse have coined, often sounding like Barnes singing over the top of the band themselves.

Nevertheless, if you ignore its context Crypt Of The Devil is potentially one of the most solid death metal releases the band has put out. Final track “Eternal In Darkness” brings the classic bloodsoaked death metal sond back with a vengeance, with ride’s singing and the driving double bass not before were treated to yet another tasteful solo from Ellis. With the bouncy lines forming “Stab” keeping the listener in their toes, with the almost inescapable sense of the verses driving riff, constantly biting at the metaphorical heels. Try and keep an open mind with this release, in this day and age there are countless bands that are created with various different musicians all around the world. The inclusion of Cannabis Corpse was a incredibly smart move. Though it might not be the original line up the band haven’t lost their integrity.

Though crypt’s may be decrepit, archaic and decaying Six Feet Under‘s album is anything but, showcasing interesting stylystic changes that fans of death metal will enjoy time and time again, this is one of the strongest releases the band can boast in their catalogue. If taken with a pinch of salt, Crypt Of The Devil may not sound exactly like a band cohesively working together but our bionic man is far from calling it quits.

If you liked what you read / heard then you can pick up a copy of Crypt Of The Devil here!