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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.