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Six in Line - 50%

Zerberus, March 10th, 2013

I like when a band doesn't take itself all too seriously. If a musician takes everything a bit too seriously, it often results in coming across as self-important or pompous, but on the other hand it can easily go the other way, too. In most cases, so-called "comedy" or "humour" bands are too busy living out their own inside jokes to produce good, worthwhile music, so in essence what I'm saying is that it's all about finding a middle way.

Six in Line from Sweden are at heart a thrash metal band, but with the aesthetics of a comedy band. The three tracks on their second release, the demo "U Shud Hev Invtd Me", are primarily comprised of mid-to-high tempo thrash riffs, pounding drums, and vocals that can probably be best described as "unique". I'll get back to this later.

The demo starts off with a sort of spooky Halloween-ish riff and I found that this was more or less a recurring theme on "U Shud Hev Invtd Me" with those types of melodies being prominent in both "You Should Have Invited Me" and the gang shout-ridden "We Intend to Hang You". It works fairly well for the Swedish band, and when all is said and done this element is what to me sounds like their strongest point. Their vein of thrash metal works pretty well for them, but if it wasn't for the melodic riffs to top it all off, their material would be an unmemorable, incoherent mess.

My main complaint with Six in Line's second demo is the vocals. Remember that I said they were rather unique? That's a nice way of saying they suck tremendously. Kaptajn Nuke's raw, discordant screaming is simply too out of place and annoying to be the main form of singing in such a band.

The music in itself isn't completely terrible, but something about it just makes me get tired of it really fast. Probably the fact that it sounds pretty undynamic. I'm not saying that it lacks variation, but the music really does go on and on in the same vein all the time with no clearly defined verse, chorus, or anything else that might resemble structure.

Let's compare Six in Line to Hellhammer. Hellhammer's sound is completely raw and awful, they could barely play their instruments, Tom Warrior's vocals were pretty amateurishly done, and their sense for songwriting was at times pretty immature due to their inexperience, and yet they were fuckin' awesome. I'd like to credit that awesomeness to memorable song structures. Riffs like the one in "Reaper" and choruses like in "Crucifixion" make Hellhammer really easy to remember, and while Six in Line definitely have the upper hand when it comes to technicality, playing skill, and production, they simply lack that memorability created by having a great sense of songwriting, which Tom Warrior later proved with Celtic Frost.

Six in Line may yet come through and prove their worth as a band. Their latest demo to me isn't much in terms of musicianship, but they do have their moments. Perhaps they still need to find their style, but right now I can only give "U Shud Hev Invtd Me" 50%.

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