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I swear, I'm going to puke - 1%

SwagLordPicklePee666, May 7th, 2019

Is this a joke? Because if that's what this thing is supposed to be, it's not funny at all. A friend challenged me to listen to this abortion from start to finish, presenting it as the worst thing I would ever listen to in my whole existence. Well, I'll be damned, he was damn right. "Graveyard Classics" is nothing more than another nail in the coffin of Chris Barnes as a musician and... singer. I mean, if we still can consider him as a singer. And I think we can't.

Basically this CD consists in nearly an hour of downtuned covers of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, that would sound decent, even if quite insipid, if it wasn't for the abominably bad vocals performed by Barnes, making "Graveyard Classics" ascend to the Olympus of the worst albums ever made. "St. Anger" doesn't even come close when compared to this crap.

It sure must have took an incredible amount of patience, overlayering, effects and most of all time, for the producer, to pull out of Barne's putrescent vocal apparatus something resembling a vocal performance even in the slightest. The result is, nonetheless, shit: Chris Barnes is a sick, broken old clown who PRETENDS to be a singer, but ends up being just ludicrous.

The sounds he makes on this album, and even nowadays, while attempting to sing, are some of the most atrocious sounding noises my ears have ever been subjected to. The fact that someone like Barnes is still allowed to tour, record and perform is an insult to the tons of young, talented singers out there that are giving it all to emerge in the world of music. As for the rest of the crew, they sound boring and forced, but at least they are listenable and they can play their instruments, even if they don't try to give a vague shape of personality or interpretation to the tracks, not even in the slightest.

The musician's performances end up being nothing more that a pale, lifeless imitation of the original songs, the drumming being boring and passionless, and the riffs and solos being played just for the sake of resembling the original song as much as possible and throw out another cover album, resulting emotionless. Not to mention the poor production, characterized by a horrible guitar tone, completely dried out and muddy, non-existent bass and, as said above, horrible overlayered vocals that aren't passable or decent even in the slightest, and can't hide the fact that Barnes can't sing for shit now, having instead literally spent the past twenty years or so hurting his throat and vocal chords.

That's all. There really isn't anything left to say about this cover album. Now, I want to ask to the musicians: what about quitting SFU and joining decent projects, guys? And hey Chris, yeah, I'm talking to you. You know what? Do us and yourself a favour and dismantle this ridiculous band. Please, make the pain and the cringe stop, I beg you.

The smelliest pile of crap you can find in the world of extreme music - 5%

The Clansman 95, April 13th, 2019

I'm not going to spend too much time writing this review, as I have already wasted almost an hour of my life listening to this thing. Going straight to the point, this is the worst pile of crap I've ever listened to. Damn me and my curiosity for making the decision to listen to this alb... ehm, thing.

What is it that makes this "album" so horrific, you ask? Well, imagine some of your favourite songs from Iron Maiden and Judas Priest being played note per note as in the original, but in a lower tuning. Then an old, disgustingly dirty and costipated stray dog on drugs comes and painfully barks something that is meant to resemble some "vocals" over the music. Sounds pretty bad, doesn't it? Well, let me tell you, it is. Add some horrible production to the whole lot, and you basically have "Graveyard Classics IV".

On a more serious note, tons of vocal overlayering, reverb and effects aren't enough to hide the fact that Chris Barnes has irreversibly turned into a shit vocalist. Hell, I feel bad even just by calling him "a vocalist". He's not a vocalist, he's nothing more than a ridiculous old clown who's been making a fool of himself for the past twenty years or so, releasing shitty albums, demos, lives, compilations or whatever one after the other, just for the sake of making money thanks to those who are buying Six Feet Under's records only to have a good laugh at him.

I feel seriously bad, thinking that he who once stood as a living milestone in the world of extreme music, having been one of the founders of a legendary band named nothing less that Cannibal Corpse, that still to this day kicks ass*s and releases awesome music (without him, obviously), he who provided some of the most brutal and gruesome vocals in albums like "Tomb of the Mutilated" and "The Bleeding", has lowered, debased himself to such a pitiful, shameful state (if the way he sounds on this album isn't enough for you and you're not afraid of puking, just go on youtube and look for the videos of his 2019's live performances).

I can't find any redeeming qualities out of this thing, the only thing I can state is that I feel bad for the musicians behind this man, because they can actually play, but to be honest I'd rather be starving under a bridge or, better, do any other respectable job than be in a band with Chris Barnes. The fact that they accept to play with him is already something unforgivable, so I don't feel like giving this crap more than a 5%. Stay the hell away from this.

It's Time To Stop - 5%

UnsilentDeath2016, June 20th, 2017

Six Feet Under has built up a reputation for being one of the worst death metal band out there. They have managed to put out consistently bad music. After a while, they decided that it wasn't enough to put out bad original music. Oh no. Now, let's go and ruin much better rock and metal acts. After putting albums of bad covers of AC/DC, Deep Purple, Venom, Ramones, Dead Kennedys, Prong, Exodus, among many others, They decided to dedicate an entire album to covering heavy metal legends Iron Maiden and Judas Priest.

Now this album does absolutely nothing to shake Six Feet Under's dismal reputation. The production emphasizes the album's biggest shortcomings, the vocals. The vocals sound like cookie monster. I know it's a cliche thing to say but they really do on this particular album. Friendly reminder that Chris Barnes was once the vocalist of the infamous Cannibal Corpse and sang on some of their key records like The Bleeding and Tomb Of The Mutilated. Why would you want to be in Cannibal Corpse when you can start the death metal equivalent of Nickelback and do shitty Iron Maiden and AC/DC covers?

And that's the problem with the vocals. Barnes' guttural growling vocals cannot imitate the emotional or dynamic ranges of Halford's, Dickinson's and Di'Anno's air raid siren vocals.

I can't give them any credit on songwriting because it's a covers album obviously. They somehow manage to fuck up the playing and the sound by trying to make Maiden's and Priest's songs heavier to fit SFU's death metal style and the guitars sound like ass fed through a woodchipper. Maiden is not a band that is ultra heavy. Maiden has always been a more melodic band. Melody is their strong point and I think SFU misses that on this album. Judas Priest can sound pretty good with heavier guitars. The heavy bluesy sound of Judas Priest is something more workable with heavier styles of metal.

Otherwise, the covers are pretty faithful to the originals and outside of the vocals, lack any kind of remarkable twist.

If I can give them credit for one thing, it's that they picked some deeper cuts instead of covering the popular songs. They even covered Prowler off of the The Soundhouse Tapes. But ultimately the covers they do are garbage and there really is nothing appealing about them. I can't recommend this shit to anybody, unless you want to hear versions of Maiden and Priest songs with vocals that sound like the garbage disposal in your kitchen sink. This album belongs six feet under. You're better off just seeking out the original Iron Maiden and Judas Priest versions. Six Feet Under, it's time to stop. This has gone on for too long. No more. Please. 0.5/10

Grunt work. Literally. - 32%

autothrall, March 9th, 2017
Written based on this version: 2016, CD, Metal Blade Records (Digipak)

Chris Barnes' mainstay has been on a strange trajectory these last five years, first stunning me with an album that was actually good, 2012's Undead, and then proceeding to not exactly follow that up with anything worthwhile (Crypt of the Devil was decent), playing some musical chairs with his band line-up, and ultimately deciding for whatever goddamn reason to release another entry in his band's abysmal 'cover tunes' album line, Graveyard Classics. Although this time, it doesn't appear that he's even bothered to come up with a halfway decent cover concept, not like the records predecessors had anything resembling eye candy. IV: The Number of the Beast is, as if you couldn't guess, exactly as lazy as it looks, and it's a collection of strictly Judas Priest and Iron Maiden covers...

...given the 6FU treatment, of course, and by that I mean transformed into bludgeoning low rent death metal lite where the only possible entertainment value is hearing Barnes' caveman grunts fart out the lines of scream-gods Rob Halford and Bruce Dickinson. Musically the trio on this disc attempts to pair up to the originals as much as possible, only with a sluggish, chunkier rhythm guitar tone that is meant to construe some heavier aggression but winds up feeling rather dry, since the record as a whole lacks that reverb and atmosphere that helped immortalize the 70s and 80s material, which this album largely consists of. The bass and drums do their parts over the album, and I won't say it's the least competent of these Graveyard Classics offerings...the focusing on only two bands kind of helps tighten the experience, and the leads feel frilly and fun, but then you go and plaster them with these monotonous grunts, which feel poorly recorded like someone was playing the background music at a karaoke bar and Chris just grabbed up the microphone. It's a little funny to hear Ray Alder appear as a backup on the "Invader" cover, but one wonders why Chris didn't just hire Ray to sing the whole thing...that might have proven a more passable experience.

I'll give Barnes credit, though, he at least has a fairly good taste in songs by these legends, and does not simply offer up the most predicted or obvious choices in their catalogs. I normally wouldn't expect to hear someone's take on "Prowler", "Flash of the Blade", "Starbreaker" or "Genocide", and these are all included along with "Total Eclipse", "Night Crawler", and "The Evil That Men Do". I don't think there's any question the track list was carefully pored over, and without renditions of the bands' most popular tunes, it affords 6FU a little more breathing space for their interpretations. Alas, they are just not very good in the end, and it's largely the vocals and production of the rhythm guitars that don't do these versions a service. If Barnes had excused himself from this, then you might have an average album of its type, but this is just too laughable to take seriously, and the joke loses its humor about 2-3 tracks in when it just becomes sad and boring. Slightly more consistent than the first two such 6FU cover anthologies, but I would say this project 'peaked' with Graveyard Classics III. Granted, that's like saying my lunch peaked when I projectile vomited against the nearest wall, rather than just puking it into its normal porcelain receptacle. Enough already!


Great vocals mate. - 0%

Napalm_Satan, June 25th, 2016

And so we return to the wondrous saga that is Six Feet Under's Graveyard Classics series. Before we even begin I've always had a bone to pick with that name. Just because the songs covered are old, doesn't mean that they are relegated to the graveyard. The material being covered is just about always stuff that was pioneering genius or extraordinarily well done (hence the classic status, obviously) and is immortal and timeless; far more so than the work of this band, which is merely a punchline at this point.

Here, we get the violated and puked on corpses of classic tracks by, as the album title may suggest, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. The band does literally nothing to the songs musically; they are note for note recreations. This highlights another glaring flaw with this series: why bother covering something if you don't do anything to it at all? The songs are just a tad bit clunkier as a result of the death metal guitar tone and somewhat slower pace. The instruments are the highlight of the album, but not only are they the work of someone else but they still manage to fuck it up. Also, the production character of the guitars is awful; it manages to be slick, muddy and over-distorted all at once and makes the classic melodic riffing of these two bands sound turgid and dull.

And now we must address the defining characteristic of the Six Feet Under sound. Chris Barnes and his growling, which is more a sort of snorting at this point. It is a really crackly, low, strained and hoarse growl that is a decayed caricature of what he was one capable of. He sounds like a miffed old boar with throat cancer. His growling is beyond reprehensible, beyond vomit-inducing, beyond laughable and even beyond sad - they really are just an abomination on all fronts. Strained, monotonous, indecipherable and yet sounded out like clean vocals, out of time, and verbose. His voice is so much louder than the rest of the instruments that not even a bit of enjoyment can be yielded from the album. Any chance of redemption is gone with this vocal performance. The one defining trait of the band automatically makes the song in question worse.

So basically this album adds a slapdash paint job to songs that didn't need it and then vomits all over them while sodomising them. This whole album is completely devoid of worth musically or artistically. But then why am I surprised? It is Six Feet Under, after all.

Come On, What Were You Expecting? - 1%

GuntherTheUndying, June 20th, 2016

Six Feet Under’s knack for pissing on timeless classics is almost admirable at this point. “Graveyard Classics” is a tradition of the American death metal squad in which they spice up a variety of notable tunes to fit the Six Feet Under mold, the ineptitude of which is astounding. Six Feet Under covering their favorite songs isn’t an issue; the problem is they fail miserably at making these tracks attention-grabbing, and thereby ruin them completely. It turns out the groovy formula of mid-paced death metal and Chris Barnes upchucking does not make fulfilling tributes to AC/DC et al., but for some reason a fourth installment of the “Graveyard Classics” series exists. “The Number of the Priest,” praise given to just Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, delivers a simpleton’s punchline to a joke we’ve heard four times now; it’s no surprise it will make you hate the songs you love.

Covering a tune successfully usually requires an intriguing twist on the original. This is especially challenging for Six Feet Under, because the whole point of the project forming was to explore the simpler side of death metal. The few tricks in Six Feet Under’s bag expanded from “Undead” onwards and created a consistent stretch of what are Six Feet Under’s finest records, especially the awesome “Crypt of the Devil.” This chapter of “Graveyard Classics” falls back to old habits, however, as the factors that managed to carry Six Feet Under away from the gutter, which had been the standard for years, are eschewed, and return once more to following the original tracks thoughtlessly. Implementing mid-paced blast beats into a Judas Priest cover or twisting the guitar sequences of an Iron Maiden song to feature some of the Barnes-era Cannibal Corpse riffing patterns of “Crypt of the Devil” would have at least added some zest, played a card with risk to it. Instead, “The Number of the Priest” is just Six Feet Under sleepwalking to Judas Priest and Iron Maiden.

The music is harmless, and maybe could suffice independently. Six Feet Under is really defined by Chris Barnes’ vocals, which I don’t despise, so as long as they are preserved in their proper setting. His throaty barfs have no business hosting the heavy metal structure of both featured groups, and calling them unbearable is showing leniency. I mean, Barnes sounds like he’s been gargling broken glass for the last ten years. How can those wobbly, guttural growls ever be practical in a way that supersedes dumb humor or irony? Answer: They can’t, and they sound worse than death. I want to give the guy credit, but that’s not possible when he’s trying to shove a butchered corpse through a keyhole. You can clearly hear him struggling to keep up with the fast vocal sequences of “The Evil that Men Do,” and he doesn’t bother trying to hold the long notes on the chorus of “Invader.” It is all just a complete and utter mess.

Ray Alder of Fates Warning appears as a guest backing vocalist on the rendition of “Invader,” but stays in the backseat, drowned by Barnes’ snorts. Alder sounds fine for being asphyxiated in the mix, and at least the dudes had the palate to pick authentic Maiden and Priest tracks that venture outside the extremely familiar hits. Nice things I have to say about “The Number of the Priest” are over beyond that; the collection of doppelgangers features nothing that can justify its effortless, insipid existence. Releasing yet another catalog of covers already doomed to fail is completely impractical and redundant, entertainment only to those who appreciate the simpleminded pleasure of finding their favorite Judas Priest and Iron Maiden songs raped in their own blood.

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