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There is no denying that the US Death Metal act Six Feet Under is a talented band, even after their mid-life crisis when they belted out some Death 'N Roll albums thanks to the "success" of their Graveyard Classics album. Luckily the band wised up and reverted back to their metal ways after the nightmare that was Graveyard Classics 2 and the lightheartedly acclaimed Bringer Of Blood. Upon hearing the band intended to issue yet another entry into the their cover album series, it came with anticipation and dismay, and many wondered who would fall victim this time like AC/DC has. Shockingly, if you expect another cover album abomination with Graveyard Classics 3, then you will be greatly let down, as this one is no joking matter.
Just about every song on here is a cover of an already heavy and intense metal track, with the exceptions being "Not Fragile", "On Fire", "Psychotherapy", and "Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck". The prospect of vocalist Chris Barnes attempting to reach the high falsettos for the Mercyful Fate cover of "A Dangerous Meeting" is great, but non existent, as the songs follow the same formula as the previous releases: Being essentially the same song, but having a heavy spin added, and the vocals being replaced by gutteral vocals. By following this pattern, Six Feet Under managed to belt out some rather impressive Death Metal covers of some really great songs, such as the aforementioned "A Dangerous Meeting". And what's more, their rendition of the Metallica track "The Frayed Ends of Sanity" is actually really kick ass and enjoyable to even those who look at that band as highly overrated or with any sort of disgust.
But, given the band's previous releases, there's a few elements many will go into the album worrying about. First of all, yes the pig squeel thing Chris does lately does exist on here, but primarily on the covers of the more Hard Rock-oriented tracks like "Not Fragile" and "On Fire". THe production quality of the album is perhaps some of the best that the band has had in a long time, if not ever, and the vocals on here are the best that they have sounded since the band's early days, as some of the more recent releases sounded horrible due to some serious abuse from boosting the bass in his vocals. Aside the stunning production quality, the music is absolutely fantastic and every track on here is either a fun romp through memory lane, or just a very well done Death Metal version of some of metal's finest histortical pieces.
The real stand outs on here would have to be the Hard Rock and Punk tracks that are covered. While hearing Death Metal renditions of Excited and Slayer tracks are great, it's nothing at all new. However, to sit down and hear a cover of Van Halen's "On Fire" and even Twisted Sister's "Destroyer" that is actually serious and well put together makes the album truly worth it. Keeping more in the vein of the first Graveyard Classics release, the band seems to have taken these covers more seriously, and the outcome is some stellar material. "Destroyer" does come off a bit boring after a while, clearly not fairing well from the transition to Death Metal, but the guitar solo is pretty impressive, and the cover of the Ramone's song "Psychtherapy" the follows both make up for the rather drawn out song.
Expect some pretty good thing from Graveyard Classics 3, and if you enjoy any of these bands, as well as Six Feet Under, then this release is one that you really have to check out. Every track on here, with the exception of "Destroyer", is a solid port over to a very serious Death Metal sound. Some of the tracks on here may even rub off on you as being better then the originals from some of the bands that garnish both love and hate from people within the styles, such as the covers of "Psychotherapy" and "The Frayed Ends of Sanity", and even the overly covered in the general Metal world song "Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck". While it's not album of the year material, it's still a great album that you'll listen to more then once for reasons other then a quick laugh.
Originally posted on Apoch's Metal Review