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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.