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Decent - 68%

deathmetal69_, June 20th, 2019

Most of the albums that Six Feet Under have released are not good, but their debut isn't all that terrible. Throughout the years they've morphed into their own sound of this cheap-sounding "rock 'n' roll death metal" that isn't all that great. At least with Haunted they still had some originality and ideas. A decent little death metal album but not really a "great" one. Only an album to listen from time to time.

Started as a side project of ex-Cannibal Corpse vocalist Chris Barnes and ex-Obituary guitarist Allen West, you'd probably expect something unique to happen, and that's actually what we got here. Basically Obituary with a Cannibal Corpse feel. Heavy deathgroove with some brutal vocals. Not bad, not a bad idea at all. The guitar is heavy while being played in a groovy style, the drums have a good sound, the snare is solid along with a heavy kick drum. The bass is pretty noticeable too, you'd think since this is a album that mixes death metal and groove metal that the bass wouldn't be noticeable, but it is. The guitar doesn't completely cover up the bass, which is excellent. Also, this is when Chris Barnes was last good at vocals. Here in Haunted theres some remnants of Cannibal Corpse in his growls, but after this release they complete fade away. This is the last time Chris Barnes actually sounded good. Rip Chris Barnes' vocals (1986-1995). The style of this album is pretty cool, but the whole thing would be infinitely better if SO MANY tracks weren't so boring.

This album is known pretty much for its first three tracks, but mainly the first two; The Enemy Inside and Silence Violence; as they are some of the band's most popular songs to date. Those two songs are absolute bangers, great openings, awesome riffs, song structures, drum beats, etc. Those two songs are fabulous guaranteed and will always be stuck in my head because they're genuinely catchy and creative. Since Haunted presented a slightly new style in the death metal scene, these songs stuck out a lot. Both songs are catchy and have memorable drum beats, riffs, and lyrics. Those two songs are the main focus of the album, but the first four tracks are actually good and worth your time. But that's not the case with the rest of the album. After the first four tracks, this album instantly lacks musical creativity and direction. Seriously, its like they had the first four tracks written greatly and ready to go, but when they had to come up with other songs they came to a writing block and lost all ideas. The first four tracks had something cool going on, I'm telling you, but the rest of the album is just downright boring. Dreadful and boring riffs, weak drum playing, slow tempos, generic as hell song structures. At this point the album is going absolutely nowhere. What a disappointment. This could've been so much better if they had more songwriting ideas.

This album has some originality, but executed badly. This is definitely one of the band's much much better works, but nowhere near an amazing one. Yeah, they had some ideas when writing this thing but towards the end they lost all direction and totally flopped. This album would've been great if they took the time to write better songs for the rest of the album. I don't recommend this album to anybody at all and I never will, but if you're trying out SFU for the first time, please PLEASE listen to this one first.

Monotonous - 45%

Felix 1666, January 9th, 2018
Written based on this version: 1995, CD, Metal Blade Records

Six Feet Under does not belong to the (great number of) bands that have impressed me deeply. In most cases, I miss the crucial dose of inspiration. Many of their pieces have a uniform appearance and do not offer one or two details that separate high class songs from solid numbers. Even worse, their mid-paced, fairly groovy metal conveys a feeling of exhaustion the longer the full-length lasts. Together with the monotonous vocals, the music does everything to avoid a vibrant aura. This is a pity, because single songs have a certain substance and would have worked on a 7". But here they go under, because the almost 39 minutes have no ups and downs.

In my humble opinion, it is mainly Chris Barnes who ruins the album. The instrumental sections do not ignite a fire, but it is also true that they do not suffer from major flaws as well. Everything is solidly performed, without any fascinating hooks, gripping riffs or exciting lines. Just solid, no more, no less. But Barnes sounds simply ridiculous. He is not the only one who celebrates this approach, I know. But his oh so demonic deep voice leaves him almost no room for any form of variation. It does not sound natural, it does not sound interesting and his rare, gnome-like nagging does not make things better. Maybe this kind of music requires such an emotionless style of singing, but a charismatic performance sounds different. I also miss some high speed parts. Maybe it was my fault and I should not have bought this work. But as long as we do not speak about doom, extreme metal needs extreme tempo from time to time. Too bad that Six Feet Under obviously do not share my point of view. Even Terry Butler, who has been involved of great records such as "Spiritual Healing", did seemingly not realise that something's going wrong here. Six Feet Under have some swift parts every now and then, but high velocity does not play a role. Boring.

The album fails to provide songs that deserve an in-depth description. It sounds a little bit like the weak brother of Massacre's "From Beyond", to stay in the past of Terry Butler. The best songs of Massacre's debut had something that kept sticking in the mind - a catchy riff, an eerie beginning or a dramatic configuration. "Haunted" does not provide these or any other elements that make an album accessible. Quite the opposite, some parts sound stale. The pretty conventional patterns also do not draw me into the more or less well produced songs. I cannot say that the mix shows serious defects, but it also fails to create an appropriate intensity and power. Mediocrity has a lot of faces and the formation shows us many of them. Needless to say that the lyrics also praise ordinariness while delivering the genre-typical content. In short, this album is much better than their cover outputs, but not good.

Their best early work - 85%

Marcus Blue Wolf, March 30th, 2017
Written based on this version: 1995, CD, Metal Blade Records

I'm not going to beat around the bush, ignore the never-ending and at times fluctuating controversy, or stigma that still surrounds Six Feet Under and has done pretty much since their inception. Many would argue, as do I, that after this album it was downhill for the band from 1999 onwards, reaching their lowest point in 2003 with the hilariously terrible "Bringer of Blood", before almost a decade of slow improvement to the generally agreed upon "good" albums, "Undead", "Unborn", "Crypt of the Devil"; and their current latest effort, "Torment". Casting all controversy and history aside, I'm here to offer my input on what is in my opinion still one of their best releases.

The album starts off pretty well, Barnes' somewhat still intact vocals supporting the simple and catchy riffs in the opening track, and "Silent Violence" is really enough for me to get over the minor slowness of the opening track, because everyone loves some simple headbanging grooves, right? It also becomes apparent that the more complex and sophisticated songs, such as "Still Alive" were saved for the latter stages of the album, mixed in with the continuing style of simplistic groove for the majority of the album. At the very least, the loud if somewhere brief solos by Allen are a welcome break from hearing groove after groove mixed with OSDM.

Obviously I can't ignore the glaring similarities in this album to some of the earlier works of Allen West's previous band Obituary, which can't be denied. Love it or hate it, in my opinion this rather heavily "borrowed" style in my opinion gives some hints at where Six Feet Under's musical direction was heading, which was short lived by the time "Maximum Violence" came out. Six Feet Under's harshest critics may maintain until the end how this was essentially an Obituary ripoff, which, while that may be true, they did at least manage to shed that label later on in subsequent releases.

Musically and musician wise, in all honesty, the album is nothing hugely special in comparison to the much larger and more successful death metal counterparts Six Feet Under have, but I'll put my neck on the line and say with a shameless confidence that this album has more of an aesthetically groovy charm to it rather than sophisticated songwriting which was used to almost excessive levels during the peak of death metal. So in that sense at least it stands out by being neither spectacular nor inherently bad, more of a "safety" album, since Chris's departure from Cannibal Corpse wasn't too long before this album was recorded. Chris stays somewhat in tune with the violent lyrical themes of Cannibal Corpse, which by this point were watered down enough to fit with his idea of a groove oriented death metal band.

Production wise, there's pretty much no flaws to the album at all, just another run of the mill 90's death metal album with "the Scott Burns death metal sound", so I can't really fault them there.

Overall, depending on your expectations, you're either going to enjoy this album or be pretty much turned off by it. In my opinion it is at least listenable, and relevant to what SFU aimed to do, and it still retains some of Chris's old charm before he fucked up his vocals. This is more of a "death metal for long car journeys" type of album. So if you're only after death metal's trademark brutality and complexity, it's not for you, but if you have a soft spot for some more laid back grooves, by all means give this album a try.

A good start for the band, but not their best - 61%

12disneyhater, May 27th, 2015

Six Feet Under are probably the most polarizing band in death metal. You either love them for their uniquely groovy, catchy, mid-tempo approach to the genre, or despise them for their "watered-down" sound and simplistic compositions, combined with Chris Barnes' obviously aged voice. As for me, I am most definitely in the former category; in fact, SFU are tied with two other bands (Kataklysm and Unleashed) as my favorite death metal band, at least regarding the surviving veterans of the genre. But even if you don't like them, it seems that "Haunted" is the one SFU album that's okay to like. But personally, I think it's one of their lesser releases.

Right when the first riff of the first song opens, you'll notice that the guitar work bares an uncanny resemblance to Obituary. Unsurprising since that band's then-guitarist Allen West played on the first two SFU releases, but you can't help but expect John Tardy to start singing rather than Chris Barnes. It's pretty clear that at the time, the group were still trying to find their identity somewhat. As far as songwriting goes, there's really not a whole lot to say. It's groove-based, mid-to-slow paced death metal that is done very well, but lacks originality. Some interesting ideas do pop up from time to time, however, such as the Fear Factory-esque drum pattern in "Lycanthropy".

Vocally, Chris sounds very similar to the way he did on Cannibal Corpse's "The Bleeding" album, and sounds arguably the best he has in SFU's career. For the most part, you can understand what he's saying, and his voice hadn't quite started to sound as hoarse and aged as it would in his later career. Lyrically, the album is typical Barnes material, but the violence and gore is noticeably toned down from his work with Cannibal Corpse. But the lyrics compliment the music as well as possible, further emphasizing the album's solid craftsmanship.

Unfortunately, things kind of drag despite the cool riffs and well-done vocal work. Even compared to most of SFU's later albums, the pace is quite sluggish and kind of takes away from the brutality, so those expecting a fast-paced album need to look somewhere else for their dose of death metal. But for a debut album, "Haunted" definitely gets the job done, and hints at good things to come later in the band's very large discography. It's not hard to see why even SFU's detractors enjoy this album, but at the same time, I feel as though if they bothered with any of their other releases that they'd find one they like more.

Better than what most seem to say. - 80%

Blackjackshalack, October 22nd, 2012

Ah, Six Feet Under. While they certainly have their own dedicated and die hard fans (myself included), Six Feet Under has to undeniably be one of the most criticized, mocked, hated, and condemned metal bands in the history of the genre. Some people attack their music, most complaining about the riffs or song structures being too slow or too simple. Others aim most of their hatred towards Chris Barnes' vocals, claiming that the guy has more or less ruined his voice through notorious marijuana abuse. Based on the reviews I've seen on this site, I get the feeling that there's very little love for Six Feet Under. Most of said reviews seem to be written from an anti-Six Feet Under perspective while the actual fans are surprisingly quiet, almost as of they're afraid to show the band their support. Well, it's been long enough and I feel that it's time for a fan to speak up and defend this group.

Well, here goes:

As you probably all know at this point, Six Feet Under was a side project started in 1993 by then Cannibal Corpse vocalist Chris Barnes. After seven years, four albums, and one ep, Barnes left the band due to a combination of artistic differences and a bit of conflict. Once departing from Corpse, Chris recruited guitarist Allen West (formerly of Obituary), bassist Terry Butler (formerly of Massacre and Death) and drummer Greg Gall. Together, the quartet brought the vocalist's side project to life. Their first offering was none other than "Haunted".

When first listening to the album, one first notices the change in pace. Whereas Cannibal Corpse's music was fast-paced, dissonant, and aggressive, Six Feet Under's music is noticeably slower n comparison. While Cannibal's riffs tended to be more on the technical side, Six Feet Under embraces its simplicity with a love for power chords, tremolo picking, and occasional mid- paced solos. Drum-wise, Barnes' new group abandons blast beats in favor of more standard beats. The point is: this is a band that prefers to keep things simple.

As far as the vocals go, this has to be one Chris' strongest vocal performances on an album. While not quite as beastly as he was with Cannibal Corpse, he still puts his heart and soul in these songs. He may not have much range, but the guy utilizes what range he has and he does it well. Lyrically, the songs aren't quite as graphic or perverse as the ones in, say, "Butchered at Birth" or especially "Tomb of the Mutilated". They're still violent in nature, just not as extreme as was seen in previous works.

There are eleven songs on "Haunted" and each one has its own memorable hook. Most notably, "Beneath a Black Sky" has a groove reminiscent of classic Obituary, the tremolo-picked verses in "The Enemy Inside" are insanely fun to head bang to, the main riff in "Human Target" is extremely mosh worthy, "Lycanthropy" is menacingly delightful, and "Torn to the Bone" is all around pure insane fun.

If you despise slow music, this album is definitely not for you. If you're open minded and an all around die hard death metal fan, then this will possibly suit your fancy.

Hypnotic, yet moderately appealing. - 65%

hells_unicorn, April 21st, 2012

Six Feet Under is a very tough band to like, even and especially by that sizable minority of people I know who argue that Cannibal Corpse was better before Chris Barnes was ejected. To state that the two bands are different would be an understatement, but what particularly sticks out about the band is the perpetual aura of an ongoing side-project minus the main one. For lack of a better description, this band doesn’t really come off like it’s trying to take it seriously, and they also come off as being lousy comedians would one to believe that they are trying to be funny. Basically, this is a band that does well to earn the scorn they tend to receive in metal circles, particularly by avid consumers of the more extreme styles therein.

“Haunted” has generally garnered less revulsion that subsequent releases, an enigma that is actually rather easily explained by the close proximity to Barnes’ work with Cannibal Corpse and the presence of Allen West. The latter does not really put on his most stellar performance here, but it dominates the mix and turns what could otherwise be dubbed overt Pantera worship with Chris Barnes barking over top of it into something mildly interesting at times. It wouldn’t be a mistake to call this groove metal, but it actually tends to avoid most of the more monotonous parts of the style by allowing the guitars to have a less percussive and drum-synchronized character. The bare bones simplicity and repetitiousness is definitely there, but in more of an early 90s thrash way like “Seasons In The Abyss” or “Renewal” than the outright plodding banality of “Vulgar Display Of Power”.

But despite the occasionally well put together guitar solo and a consistent level of competency in the overall arrangement, this album spends way more time coasting than it does cooking. Whether dealing with somewhat faster songs like “Haunted” and “Suffering In Ecstasy” or the otherwise uniform collection of mid tempo work on here, this isn’t the chaotic nightmare that most would tend to expect from a death metal album. Even by the early death/thrash standards set by Death and Possessed, this comes off as restrained, avoiding the excessive speed and chaotic blasting that crept in with Bolt Thrower and Morbid Angel, while also keeping a good distance from the doom-inspired character of a number of bands that were beginning to take shape at the time.

Combined with the middle of the road tendencies of the tempo and character of the music is a very safe approach to songwriting, one that would pass for radio if the vocals had taken on more of a grungy flavor. While it has never been customary for older death metal bands to go 6 or 7 minutes on a great number of songs, there is always an inherent asymmetrical tendency to the songs, a systematic avoidance of the cliché verse/chorus format. This album embraces those orthodoxies, which generally tends to be limited to the most radio-friendly of wiffle thrash and traditional heavy metal, and all but exaggerates them to the point of an outright catchy character coming about, though it’s focused more in the guitars than the vocals. I challenge anyone to listen to the grooving drive of “Lycanthropy” and not find themselves repeating that rhythmic guitar drone in their minds soon after.

All things considered, this is death metal for people who tend not to like death metal, and it plays heavily into the dominant character of mid 90s American music with its generally strict adherence to convention (minus the vocals, of course), something which Cannibal Corpse never really did in spite of their heavy success. Speaking for myself, I found the album moderately enjoyable but not really much to write home about, which is sadly the greatest that has been achieved by Barnes since being abandoned by the corpse.

A tedious, monotonous chore to listen to - 35%

violentrestitution, March 26th, 2012

I used to be a pretty big fan of this band when I was just getting into death metal, they were a gateway band for me because of how accessible and simplistic their style of death metal was..However years later, coming back to this stuff is just equally painful and embarrassing because of how low quality this is. Mid paced chug-riffing style death metal can be good when it has enough interesting riffs or "grooves" to keep the listener captivated enough to endure it. This doesn't happen on this record. Instead you're treated to almost 40 minutes of the same riff repeated over and over just at different tempos. I really only liked Chris Barnes in Tomb of the Mutilated and even then he wasn't that amazing, something about his voice sounds forcefully grunted and straining to breathe. He sings at the same pitch without changing except for a few shrieks which aren't bad admittedly, but it doesn't really help all that much to the songwriting.

Still, the general consensus with this album is that you'll be forced to endure almost 40 minutes of one chord chugging throughout the majority of each song, because that's all the songwriting consists of. Its like this album tries so hard to entwine the listener in some sort of rockin' groove but it never establishes its self. It just kind of annoys the fuck out of me, not only because of how boring it is, but because of the production as well. The vocals are mixed highest and right from the bat its a shitty sign because the vocals are so monotonous and uncomfortable to listen to. Chris Barnes sounds like hes straining to stay alive because he runs out of breath in some songs. The guitars are so flat and uninteresting as well, everything is just standard drop whatever tuning (not a guitar guy) it wouldn't really be that big of a problem if the guitars did ANYTHING other than plodding along with one damn chord for 75% of the song. I don't believe there's even a bass on this album which would really help the damn thing be a little more interesting, the drums don't ever do anything exciting as well. It just keeps a simple beat throughout the boring uninspired chug fest. Let me remind you this is all at a pretty slow tempo so its even more bleh

Some of the songs just try to cheap its way out of having awful songwriting by just having sub-standard "catchy" chorus's like Still Alive, its just really cheesy and lame. I really don't think anything this album was going for worked at all. It doesn't create any atmosphere or feeling at all, the entire thing is just a slab of emotionless bruting generic death metal. When you get 3 songs into this thing you don't really need to listen to the rest of it. Every song basically follows the same formula. Have one main idea for a riff, repeat it during a chorus, fill the rest of the space with chugging groove sections while the vocalist tries to create some sort of brutal scene with the childish lyrics. However, it isn't ALL excruciatingly bad. Human Target is alright, it has a listenable riff, but yet is nothing really original, Suffering In Ecstasy while not a good song is at least a break from the total mid-paced borefest previously shown with its slightly fast riffing, and Barnes vocals aren't that bad here. However, the entire thing really just feels like a bunch of imbeciles picked up some instruments in a garage and played the most simplistic thing that came to mind first, wrote it all down walked into a studio a day later and recorded it and here you go fellas, here's Haunted!

I can totally see the appeal to this to someone perhaps new to the style of music, its fairly accessible, simple, and easy to digest.. It's just not rewarding at all. There's no atmosphere, no depth, no energy, it just feels like an empty plate with a few crumbs left of what would of been a great meal. So really, I can only recommend this to people who want to try to get into death metal, even if its not the best thing to start with it could certainly help, because it did for me. But for anyone who already likes death metal, or "extreme" metal really, stay away from this. It's really fuckin' boring

Haunting classick - 95%

mrdanteaguilar, May 21st, 2011

Their very first studio album released back in 1995. Even after so many years and so many releases from hundreds of death metal acts that go from the simplest death metal to the craziest metalized Beethoven tech death metal, Haunted still kicks major ass and still makes my blood boil and my adrenaline rush with its furious riffs, brutal vocals and sick ass lyrics. You can clearly hear many influences when you listen to Haunted, varying from Obituary, Cannibal Corpse, Death, Autopsy and Massacre but mostly Obituary. in fact, many think of this album as Obituary with different vocals and many of the riffs played here also sound very similar to that terrifying Obituary old school riff style. Whatever the case is, Haunted is a true death metal gem.

Chris Barnes is definitely a legend when it comes to death metal music with his characteristic deep growl, and this album is definitely no contradiction. His vocals never get old on this release, due to the fact that the instruments sound very equilibrated with his voice and he knows exactly where to growl and scream on each song. Also the fact that he actually enunciates every single word perfectly (at least for me) so you can clearly understand ''human... target... human... TARGET!''. Plus the lyrics are very sick and malevolent without having to resort to extreme gore or violence, which makes the album very evil.

Also Greg Gail knows how to batter those drums perfectly with no need of blasting, ultra fast double bass or triggers. He's often playing slow groovy beats but also you'll notice some punk-ish patterns. His drumming technique reminds me a lot of Donald Tardy, drummer from you know what band, except a little sloppier.

Haunted also has some of the grooviest, heaviest and most dope riffs I've ever heard. Especially Human Target, Beneath A Black Sky, Silent Violence, The Enemy Inside and Torn To The Bone, all done with a truly heavy ass old school tone that will blow your brains and a crunchy bass. Yes, the bass is there, is present and it sounds great, going along with every guitar riff. Check out the beggining of The Enemy Inside. Even if it's just a single note being held, the bass crunch sounds brutal and then a drum roll kicks in followed by the rest of the instrumentation. BAD ASS

This release is definitely one of the greatest death metal albums despite the haters opinion (who probably just hate Barnes' and not SFU's music).

Oh bitch, you wary? I'm wary. - 65%

autothrall, April 28th, 2011

Ask yourself: have you ever speculated what Obituary might have sounded like in 1989-1994 if you supplanted John Tardy's raucous retching with Chris Barnes' blunt, nigh monotonous delivery? Well, Six Feet Under was seemingly formed to answer that question. Or maybe not. It's a bit of a drag that Barnes was unable to come to terms with the other members of Cannibal Corpse after such a good job on The Bleeding, but he was quick to land on his feet after the separation. Having already formed this as a side project before the split, Metal Blade were more than happy to keep the guy in the wings. So he hooked up with a pair of scene veterans, Allen West (Obituary) and Terry Butler (ex-Death, Massacre), in addition to drummer Greg Gall, and proceeded to forge a path of mediocrity that to this day has not ceased. How this band has managed to remain signed and productive is beyond my mortal ken, but fuck...if ICP can persist, why not SFU?

That said, Haunted is the least offensive album in the band's nearly 20-year career, because of one important fact: it sounds like prime-era Obituary (1989-1994). West might not have been present for Cause of Death, but the riffs here aim at the same general hooking simplicity. In fact, I'll admit that the riffs are better than those found amid the redundant complacency of The End Complete, and pretty close in quality to World Demise. Generally, there is not a song on this debut that generates more than a single worthwhile guitar line, but sometimes that is enough to at least get the listener's head bobbing to the groove. Barnes himself sounds rather dried up here, and the punctuation of his vocals rarely memorable, but a few of the tunes like "Human Target" and "Silent Violence" are fun enough that he gets a pass. What's more interesting is how Six Feet Under employs simple, steady rock beats rather than the exhaustive power that the rest of the field were soaking up. There is some double bass in there, but overall it's quite a contrast to most death metal outside of a few peers (Obituary, some Bolt Thrower maybe).

Unfortunately, that fact does little to absolve the album of its general mediocrity, and most of the songs flow together all too well, muddled in the memory and devoid of individual distinction. I'm likely not exaggerating when I assume that West and Barnes wrote this material in an afternoon or two, because it's stubbornly simple to the point that it no longer a virtue. The lyrics consist of more thoughtful if forgettable prose than one might expect, not so gore drenched as what Barnes was belching forth in his years with Cannibal Corpse. The Scott Burns mix is alright, not one of his best but certainly not one of the worst. Overall, there was room in the market for a project like this, and Haunted is functional enough for those who can check out their brain to enjoy some carnal, crushing momentum delivered with passable effort. Is it better than anything Chris Barnes OR his replacement Corpsegrinder recorded with Corpse? Outside of the middling sophomore Butchered at Birth, I'd have to say that the answer is a resounding no, so it's not at all a surprise that many fans of The Bleeding were repulsed by this. I'll hang on to my own personal distaste for some of the later SFU recordings.

-autothrall
http://www.fromthedustreturned.com

A Middle of the Road Haunting - 63%

JamesIII, February 13th, 2010

A band like Six Feet Under is one of those that garners alot of animosity from metal fans, yet at the same time deserves most of the negativity. Gathering from an obviously limited idea base, Six Feet Under is a band that continues to release albums in the same vein over and over, with little if any promise of delivering anything worthwhile to average death metal fan. Ironically enough, its the band's debut in "Haunted" (which was originally just going to be a one time side project for Chris Barnes and Allen West) turns out to be the band's best effort in terms of anything remotely interesting.

The cover art says it all concerning "Haunted", its a slightly interesting piece that ultimately fails to go anywhere and ends up disappointing instead of enthralling. At the same time, the cover art was borrowed from a 1990 movie artwork, which compares to SFU's borrowing ideas from Cannibal Corpse and Obituary, which is something virtually every reviewer here has already stated. Yet instead of funneling whatever magic comes from either of those bands, we instead get plodding groove. This style of metal was popular in the U.S. at the time, with heads Machine Head and Pantera leading the way. Yet "Haunted" is largely devoid of what made both of those somewhat interesting to listen to on occasion. The riffs groove decently enough, but ultimately go nowhere in a pretty big hurry, effectively grinding those repetitive riffs into dust.

The songs themselves are not particularly exciting, though this actually puts them above mind-numbingly terrible so it comes out better than most of this band's recorded output. I will give the band some credit in that they avoided one of the biggest flaws plaguing American groove metal bands of the time, in that they side stepped carrying on for five or even six minutes at a time, riding the same riffs over and over. Instead, most of these songs are around 3 minutes apiece, with a few exceptions. One of the few that exceeds four minutes is "Lycanthropy," a song that isn't necessarily great but remarkably doesn't manage to end up sucking despite an excessive length compared to its pool of ideas. "Beneath the Black Sky" and "Human Target" are two additional numbers that work rather well, though neither build up to anything exceptional. This is the unfortunate story considering "Haunted," in that it listens decently rather than listening well and fails to implement its ideas in a sustainable fashion and instead plods off into forgettable groove.

As with most things Six Feet Under, there isn't much else to say. The musicians here are obviously talented given their respective bands but none of that manifests itself here. "Haunted" isn't completely terrible like some later efforts that I've had the misfortune of hearing, but it isn't that good either. Its mostly middle of the road groove death metal with some elements of a muddy guitar tone that give it a "sludge" metal feel (though don't mistake that comparison for something like Crowbar.) I recieved this little album as a gift from a friend several years ago, so I didn't bear the pain of parting with actual money to hear this. For those of you looking to get into this band (and why you would, I'll never know) this is as good of place as any, and their best album. That said, I'll also forewarn potential buyers that this is an item for the discount aisle and price considerations should never arise above $7.

Obituary Rip off with Chris Barnes on vocals - 65%

draconiondevil, January 27th, 2010

This is where the “doomy” and “muddy” style presented on Cannibal Corpse’s The Bleeding really manifests itself. This album is basically “Stripped, Raped and Strangled” over and over again. You know, the riff after he says “face down, dead on the ground, five more before another is found”. Most of the riffs are like that, except some are a bit choppier. Take the riff in “Lycanthropy” for instance. Let’s take a more in-depth look shall we?

The album starts with a song called “The Enemy Inside”. It’s really not a bad song except for the slightly annoying chorus and the muddy groove riff in the verses. The guitar is pretty much like that. Muddy groove riffs everywhere. There are some good solos here and there though. The solo in the intro to “Still Alive” is really good and actually got me interested (not to mention it let me know that “Lycanthropy” was over. I wouldn’t have known otherwise!) You can really tell that Allen West is playing guitar on this album because a lot of it basically sounds like an Obituary album, minus the fast parts and the sick vocals. The riff at the beginning of “Beneath a Black Sky” is a complete rip off of the riff to “The End Complete” by Obituary!

The Bass on this album is completely inaudible due to the downtuning of the guitars and the production. The point of this album wasn’t to have bass though, it was to have a groovy death metal album that sounds like an Obituary rip off with Chris Barnes on vocals.

Talking about Mr. Barnes, his vocals are actually not what I was expecting. All I had heard from Six Feet Under before this was some of their newer stuff and on those recordings his vocals are atrocious! His vocals here though are actually not bad at all. You could argue that he sounds better on this album than he did a year earlier on The Bleeding. His vocals are deeper (ironically) and his shrieks aren’t as frequent. Overall the vocals on this album were a pleasant surprise.

There are very few fast parts on this album. The whole thing is very mid-paced so there isn’t really anything good to say about the drums. There are no blastbeats (not that that’s entirely a bad thing) and no interesting fills. There is double bass on this album but not fast intense double bass, except in the song “Suffering in Ecstasy”. That song is actually worth mentioning because of the drumming.

All in all, this album isn’t very good. It’s pretty much a mish-mash of Obituary and Cannibal Corpse. I would say you’re better off listening to those bands than this one. Also, if for some unknown reason you’re trying to get into this band, I would recommend this album as a place to start.

Highlights

- Still Alive because of the solos
- Suffering in Ecstasy because it’s a break from the mid-paced songs on the album

Lowlights

- Beneath a Black Sky is an Obituary rip off
- The instrumentation isn’t really that good

I totally can't make sense of this - 60%

Noktorn, September 8th, 2008

This album seems to occupy a rather strange spot in the death metal scene in many ways. For one, it's the one Six Feet Under record that's acceptable to say you enjoy to some degree. I'm not sure why as I can't detect a massive difference between this and the band's later releases. More importantly though, it's often used as a weird, lowbrow trump card by metalheads looking to show that they're not elitists. "Dude, I'm not pretentious, I like 'Haunted' a lot." How the hell it got to be the officially endorsed guilty pleasure of the metal scene I have not even the faintest idea. It's not very good; even the people who claim to like it only have rather faint praise for it, and I can't say that it's very worthwhile music, even as someone who likes groove-oriented death metal, but I'm sure its tiny reign of cognitive dissonance will continue no matter what I have to say about it.

In a pinch, you can describe the entirety of the album by pointing to the main riff of 'Lycanthropy'. It's a perfect microcosm of the album as a whole. It's ridiculously simple. It's very groove-oriented. Most of the time it's almost laughably amateurish, violating the predefined and logical rules of death metal not out of a desire to break barriers but a seemingly total lack of understanding of what death metal's actually supposed to sound like, with the band simply recreating the aesthetic from memory as best they can. The songs sound like demo versions of tracks that could one day be a decent listen but clearly haven't gone through a real editing process yet. The whole package is silly; the band runs out of logical riffs like halfway through the album and just starts making shit up as they go along with the chugging getting more and more convoluted and bizarre until it seems they've forgotten they're supposed to be making grooves at all and instead just have a bunch of weird, mid-tempo riffs that go nowhere.

Maybe that's part of the charm for a lot of people though. While later Six Feet Under is professional yet sucks fundamentally, this is mediocre but earnest, resulting in a sort of pro-underdog complex on the part of the metal scene. It's like seeing a friend's band play their first show in a local bar; they don't know the songs very well, and even if they did they wouldn't be very good, but your heart still goes out to them because god bless 'em they're trying their hardest to be decent. I would ALMOST call this album a parody of death metal if I thought any of the members of Six Feet Under were capable of parody. So this means we have a totally bizarre doppelganger of death metal loping about with rock-based drumming, awkward pseudo-groove riffs, and rote unison barking over them with nary an attempt at song development in sight. To be frank, a lot of the time it's barely listenable.

It does have a certain charm to it though; sometimes the very dumbest parts remind me of bands like Lowbrow where the disappointed headshaking somehow metamorphosizes to slow, deliberate headbanging without you knowing it. Sometimes, like, well, the beginning of 'Lycanthropy', they land on something so simple and unbelievably stupid that you brain sort of goes into an emotional fire drill and you end up tacitly agreeing with the music despite how illogical and poorly thought out it is. It's totally devoid of meaning or sensibility, and maybe that's why people like it: instead of trying to be 'good', Six Feet Under never tried to begin with, kind of like Mortician but with a lot more weed.

Then again it could just suck; actually, it's a definite possibility.

SFU best stuff, but that's not saying much. - 70%

FuckinBill, June 18th, 2008

Six Feet Under has always been a band that goes back and fourth between the lines of good death metal and complete shit. Aside from their other album Warpath, this might be the only album by them that I can completely listen to. Same goes for the man behind the band himself, Chris Barnes. His music has always been hit or miss with me, but he's really gone downhill since the last couple of SFU albums, voice wise. He was especially terrible on Torture Killers' Swarm! album. I cringe just thinkin' about it, eesshh.

Now as for this album, it's pretty good. Well it's good, ehhh it's okay. The songs can be a little repetitive at times. This is probably most notable in the song "Lycanthropy" (but this song is actually good so I don't mind that it's repetitive). The album begins with "The Enemy Inside" which is honestly a pretty solid start for the album. The guitars sound good, nice and crunchy, and the drums sound great too. The snares don't sound like distorted shit and the double bass is near perfect. The production on the whole album sounds really good, polished but not too much.

The next song "Silent Violence" is pretty good too. More crunchy riffs and shit like that. And Barnes' vocals were even good back then! He's got a good death metal voice but not the best in my opinion. The next song "Lycanthropy" is repetitive but good as I mentioned earlier. And then the next song is good but repetitive... and then the next, and the next, and the next, etc, etc. That's really the main problem with this album, this music is good, it just gets boring. After a while all the songs just begin to sound the same, it's like your listening to one forty minute long song.

They really should have tryed to do something more technical or different or interesting at least. Put something in their to change it up, make it unique, make something stand out. If only, I guess. Sadly this is pretty much the best stuff that SFU has to offer. Most of their other releases aren't any better. If you're thinking of checking out this band, make sure you get this album. That's all I can say, I don't want to say I recommend this to any death metal fan looking for some good death metal, but if you haven't heard them before or you got some free time, check it out. It's not a complete waste of time. But just to clarify this isn't a bad death metal album, it's just not the best. Far from it.

A pathetic attempt at death metal - 20%

goredisorder, June 14th, 2008

I know SFU recorded an entire cover album of AC/DC's, and not only is AC/DC gay to begin with but a cover album sounds pretty fucking lame. I actually saw it at the store and you can check with my sister, I said "what the shit." Anyways for this reason I was never interested in SFU. I've been a Cannibal Corpse fan since I was 14 and I actually have a preference for Chris Barnes over Corpsegrinder, and I have never even given this band a chance. Well finally, recently, I decided to check out the notorious Six Feet Under (Notorious S.F.U., metal's answer to hiphop), but only a non gay non cover album. So I went with Haunted. (Say this in your best newscaster voice:) this, is what I think of it.

Weak. I though this was death metal, man I should have done my research. This is that groove metal shit I try to avoid like herpes. I am even embarassed to know of such a label as 'groove metal.' The vocals are definitely death metal, and they're pretty competent, but that's as far as I'll go. Barnes definitely sounds better with Cannibal Corpse than here, but I guess the music plays some role in my admiration of his work in the former. The music is ridiculously slow, simplistic, and repetitive, and each song drags on and on. Haunted is sloppy and half-assed. It is a litte reminiscent of Lowbrow - which I realize came later, but is the best sound to compare it to. Except, while Lowbrow, though simplistic and upbeat, acheives a sound passable for death metal, Six Feet Under totally fails with Haunted. If I'd heard this 5 years ago I would have thought this is the heaviest shit ever, but with so much (well, some) quality and substantial and ACTUAL death metal that's filled my ears at this point, I am greatly disappointed by this album.This is just some slothlike groovy and apathetic shit.

I see my instincts to stay away from Six feet Under were right, and my punishment for not trusting my gut is a listen to Haunted. It seems popular opinion that this debut is SFU's opus magnum, and if this is the case I have no plans to give any of their other albums a listen. Actually an AC/DC cover album doesn't sound so bad after this. I'm sorry Chris, but I still love you.

Get haunted! - 95%

makaze, October 21st, 2004

Departure of Chris Barnes from Cannibal Corpse, just before recording of "Vile", was a direct shock to all death metal fans worldwide. Many of them said CC is dead and that nothing can save them. Well they were damn wrong - Alex and company released some of the best albums in career afterwards, while Barnes formed one more kick ass band - Six Feet Under. In the start, this was a super-project, featuring legends of death metal such Allen West (ex-Obituary, Lowbrow) and Terry Butler (ex-Death, Massacre), together with less known Greg Gall. Barnes stayed on vocals of course. All those people that had doubts about this new band could say nothing to "Haunted". This debut album of Six Feet Under was released in 1995 and it features classical, raw death metal. If you don't like it, you don't like death metal in general - it's that simple! This mid-tempo death metal stayed out of new brutal death metal wave and brought smiles to the face of old-school fans. "The Enemy Within", "Lycanthropy", "Beneath A Black Sky" and "Suffering In Ecstasy" are simply the metal hymns. Nothing more, nothing less. Guitars are heavy, some could say simple, but very catchy. Riffs are memorable, and you will hear yourself soon singing the powerful chorus. Barnes' vocals are dominant and nothing stands in his way. Not overproduced like on the last two SFU's releases, but simply heavy as a ten-ton hammer. You won't hear much leads, only few, here and there. But anyway, songs sound really good, you won't miss them. I think this is most honest album of Six Feet Under. The spirit of true death metal is here! It is true that their playing same simple death metal music, but hey, it's not all about playing something complex and new! Sometimes you just need a brutal music, you need a bunch of energy slapped into your face - and here you will find it - get haunted damn it!

Plodding, inane, soporific, and lame. - 18%

GrimAndFrostbitten, December 13th, 2003

Until tonight when I finally heard America the Brutal, this was the only Six Feet Under I've bothered hearing, since I got it for free from someone back in 1998, and I don't think I've listened to it since.

This is quite a pathetic excuse for "death metal," and I don't even consider it such. Though it has Chris Barnes growling away and semi-aggressive drumming, it's stylistically and structurally like sludge or hard rock most of the time. Though others may have different perceptions, this is what it mostly reminds me of, minus the detuning and harsh vocals. The guitar, mostly prevalent with a few riffs but quite a bit of groove elements, are almost always simplistic and weak, and almost remind me of AC/DC under the attempts at trying to be harsh. Though the drumming isn't bad at all, but doesn't do much to save most of the songs. The lyrics are kind of funny in their grossness, though. The vocals are easier to understand than Cannibal Corpse, and the growling just isn't as ugly -- it's almost out of place.

Worst of all, structurally, the utter chaos that defines death metal, inherited from Possessed, is JUST NOT THERE. Most of the songs don't build up to anything, and just plod along repetitively. There isn't any of the insanity and horrifying ugliness of early Carcass or Repulsion -- it's just all lame attempts at being "brutal."

The songs vary in their effect, and the album is a bit inconsistent. The Enemy Within is just boring. Silent Violence is plodding, but it's kind of funny. Lycanthropy is slow and soporific, and the lyrics are as cheesy as some of Grim Reaper's. Still Alive is plodding, but it's lightened up by some actual lead guitar, which would go along well with the style -- though then again, it's rather weak. Beneath a Black Sky is just boring.

Human Target is kind of catchy, and the main riff is memorable, but it's otherwise stupid. Remains of You is boring. Suffering in Ecstasy almost sounds thrashy and promising at the beginning, but they repeat that one damn riff for too long throughout the song, and the rest is boring. Tommorrow's Victim and Torn to the Bone are also boring, as is the final track, Haunted, which has some lead guitar but is otherwise dumb.

Some of the lyrics made me laugh in their cheesy grossness, and it has a few moments and redeeming features, but otherwise, this is lame, boring, and plodding. Extremely brutal death can seem boring to one desensitized to it, but this isn't brutal whatsoever, it's boring in the classic sense of plodding indirection -- 18 seems like an appropriate rating, off the top of my head. For those new to "death metal," simply avoid this and move on to anything else -- in fact, just go back to the beginning and get Possessed's Seven Churches, and find out what it's all about, and go from there.