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To start, I can understand the low reviews for this album, as there are indeed many flaws. However, this being the first Six Feet Under album I ever heard and one of the first death metal albums I ever bought, it does have some positive aspects for me. I disagree that ALL of Six Feet Under's discography is total shit, which seems to be a common view on the metal archives. I happen to think that "Maximum Violence", "Haunted", and "Death Rituals" are very strong albums, however unfortunately, Six Feet Under have delivered a few terrible albums.
Onto "True Carnage". Lets start with the positive aspects of this album. Firstly, I personally really like the production of this album, ensuring that all the instruments are more or less heard and the guitars have a fairly strong and clear tone considering how low-tuned they are. The drums are fairly natural sounding. The bass drum has a good non-triggered sound, so there's not much to complain about here. Another major positive of this album is Chris Barnes' vocals. Unlike other Six Feet Under albums, I think his voice is very strong here and to me sounds similar to his vocals on Cannibal Corpse's "The Bleeding". One aspect of Chris' vocals that have been complained about on this album is his high-pitched screams. I love his use of these highs on this album. They sound strange and awful in one sense, but I find them fitting for the albums feel and morbid lyrical content. One example of Chris' high-pitched screams that I find effective are in the chorus of "Knife, Gun , Axe". These demonic screeches come from nowhere and make you sit up and pay attention. Anyway, to sum up I find Chris to be on good form vocally on this album.
To start with the good songs, I find "The Day The Dead Walked", "Cadaver Mutilator", and "Impulse to Disembowel" to be the best on offer here. "The Day The Dead Walked" is very catchy and builds up to a tremendous groove section around one minute in. Now I am not a poser that just listens to endless "groove" metal that is endlessly regurgitated on TV, I just happen to think that groove injected into metal can be very effective. "The Day The Dead Walked" is also a good example of Chris' use of demonic high-pitched screams. People can mock Chris Barnes as much as they like, but most of these people could never top his vocal abilities. Much like "The Day The Dead Walked", "Cadaver Mutilator" and "Impulse To Disembowel" are simply solid death metal tracks that utilize groovier tempos to great effect. "Impulse To Disembowel" is, however, much slower than most of the tracks on this album, but I see this as no bad thing. "Cadaver Mutilator" is the last of the "good" songs on this album. This track simply tears along, starting mid-tempo, then speeding up as it develops.
Now onto the less memorable sounds that can be found here. To be honest, there is not much to say about the remaining songs. These songs are just mostly forgettable death metal songs. Many songs just pass by without you really noticing what is going on. There are, however, a few songs that catch your ear. For example, "Snakes" starts well and uses some pretty catchy rhythms that are accented by the drums, but the song quickly fades into monotonous death metal plodding. Other than "Snakes", certain moments in "The Murderers" and "It Never Dies" standout, but similar to "Snakes", these songs are less memorable due to being too repetitive.
Now onto the weak tracks that can be found in this album. First culprit is the song "One Bullet Left". This song begins as a generic boring death metal song that plods along with no real direction, then out of nowhere some stupid rapper starts mouthing off about "blowing some motherfucker's motherfucking dome off". I cannot begin to put into words how stupid this track is. It would easily rank as one of the worst songs ever made in my book. I would describe further the guitar work and other instrumentation in this track, but the "I'm gonna fuck you in the ass with my big motherfuckin' bong, motherfucker" rapping completely destroyed this track for me. Onto the other "shit" song on this album, final song "Sick And Twisted". This song is an attempt at a male/female death metal duet. That last sentence should already justify why this song is shit, but for the sake of analysis, this song simply plods along at a slow pace with dreadful lyrics and guitar work. The female vocals are simply horrible.
Too round off this review, I do enjoy some tracks off this album and think that overall it is worth a listen. The negative aspects of this album can mostly be tolerated with the use of a skip button. I feel bad to give Chris' work such a critical review, but I still believe him to be one of the best death metal vocalists there ever has been. He deserves much respect for his time in Cannibal Corpse and for some of Six Feet Under's albums. Overall, not great, but worth buying if you see it in a bargain bin somewhere.
Standout tracks: "Impulse To Disembowel", "The Day The Dead Walks" , "Cadaver Mutilator" and "Snakes".