Looking a couple of weeks back into my recent reviews I noticed that I traveled in Europe for a while, exploring different forms of mostly melodic metal. After a few weeks of vacation, I decided to buy a direct flight to Tampa, Florida, where the sword of Death Metal that the fans have been carrying for three decades was forged.
Among all the possible death metal bands that were born in this city (which is in my bucket list to visit), I’m focusing primarily on SIX FEET UNDER’s eleventh studio album Crypt of the Devil (out now on Metal Blade Records). Lead vocalist Chris Barnes is known for his remarkable work that put the Death Metal legends CANNIBAL CORPSE just on track to carry the Death Metal flag and make themselves arguably the most popular and influential Death Metal band of all time. Having that achievement on his resume, there is no doubt that SIX FEET UNDER knows exactly how to describe the Death Metal genre for the eleventh time in 37 minutes.
We’ve seen SIX FEET UNDER evolve over the course of their different albums for over 20 years now. From a personal standpoint, I’m pretty sure that many people will agree that even though Barnes and company have improved their sound in terms of production and style, they have remained absolutely loyal to their characteristic sound. There’s no need to go disappointing their fans with “experiments” that other bands like to do often. Barnes has led SIX FEET UNDER definitely to remember their roots every time they play a song.
The opening track of the album “Gruesome” is exactly that, but pleasant for people who tend to like gore stuff. This disc also holds the traditional songs for headbanging to like “Broken Bottle Rape” and “Slit Wrists.” “Lost Remains” and “Stab” are what I like to define as the true death metal show: four people wearing jeans and black shirts just tearing it off without lights, fireworks or flying drums… and one of them has dreads of course. “The Night Bleeds” and “Compulsion to Brutalize” are just a continuation of the straight-to-the-point riffs that have distinguished SIX FEET UNDER for over 20 years, and let’s not forget the song “Open Coffin Orgy” that had a video released as part of the promotional campaign for Crypt of the Devil
As for a live act, I have never had the pleasure catching SIX FEET UNDER live, but I’m pretty sure that when I do so, my body will politely kick out the devil that’s inside me and invite him to headbang together while the chaos ensues, and eventually possess the Devil himself. Enjoy this album.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Gruesome”, “Open Coffin Orgy”, “Lost Remains”, “Stab”, “The Night Bleeds”.