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Review originally posted at http://www.teethofthedivine.com by Erik Thomas
Another year another Six Feet Under album, but surprisingly like 2007s Commandment, Barnes and Co. appear to be back on track after a couple of albums of suck.
With a change in producer and studio from Erik Rutan and Mana for Commandment to Chris Carroll at Morrisound, Death Rituals sounds a bit rougher and analog-y, but the formula for the music is the same as its been since 1995s Haunted; Chunky, mid paced , no frills death metal with lyrics about zombies, death and other 90s death metal themes.
With two exceptions, all 13 tracks lope and lumber with a simple efficiency-even more so than Commandment, and Barnes’ admittedly now tired sounding growl. However, at almost 50 minutes in length (14 more than Commandment), Death Rituals outstays its welcome for the type of album it is. As much as tracks like “Involuntary Movement Of Dead Flesh”, “Death By Machete”, “Shot In the Head” and “Killed In your Sleep” fulfill their goal, by the time “Crossroads to Armageddon”, “Ten Deadly Plagues” and “Murder Addiction” rumble by, you’ve heard everything Death Rituals has to offer. Still it does offer an archaic respite from the onslaught of mind numbing tech death metal or clicky nu death the kids are playing, despite the fact we really dont need (or want?) another SFU album.
The two exceptions are the outro “Crossing the River Styx” and the cover of Mötley Crüe’s “Bastard” which hopefully isn’t a sign that Barnes has the hankering for another album of covers. Please god, don’t let there by a Graveyard Classics 3.