October 27, 2012

MIXTAPE: Six Feet Underrated

My brother said they were “too basic”. Simple death metal songs with simple hooks and solos that are not complex. Well yeah! That’s what makes Six Feet Under great. Plus you’ve got Chris Barnes, one of the true pioneer death metal vocalists of all time. Dude was on the ground floor – no, make that the underground basement - of the very movement of death metal.

Gun to my head and I have to pick one guy as my all-time death metal singer – it’s Barnes. Sick as hell lyrics, hits the highs and the guttural lows, has the long, sustained yell when needed and has a sinister, hunched over mysterious stage presence.

Barnes and guitarist Steve Swanson are really the only mainstays currently in the band. The names and the band connections of the cast of personnel is extensive – from Cannibal Corpse and Obituary to Massacre, Death and Chimaira.

They are perhaps the most underrated, under appreciated death metal band with a history that is now approaching 20 years.
It may be simple, but I’ll just say,it’s simply good. Enjoy.

Track listing (click for larger view):

Liner Notes:
  • Beneath: from the first album – which is my favorite of theirs. Allen West nails an evil tone.
  • Bring Bud: Barnes is very accessible as “rock star”. The guy replies to his fans on very regular basis on Twitter (@sixfeetofficial). Is this the real title of a song that was a hidden extra at the end of the CD? It sure as hell is because before Twitter I emailed the band asking the song name and Barnes replied, “that one’s called bringer of bud”.
  • D-Klaat: killer, absolutely killer Steve Swanson riff as the basis of this song.
  • Decomp: my little edit with a little repeat effect for a snippet song that I think rocks better than the real song.
  • Grinder: Judas Priest cover. I don’t think a band has laid down more cover songs in the studio than SFU. Love it.
  • Lycan: machine-gun slow riff. Nice job Allen. Understated bass laying down the foundation in this song is awesome.
  • Night V: Barnes shows off his entire vocal repertoire on this ditty. Love how he hits a trailing off, almost third gear when he sings “before I wake”
  • Non-exist: what a chorus. Best lyric of his career?
  • Tomo V: the epitome of the slow chug of the first album. The kind of song you can hear playing when after the family leaves and the grave diggers are slowly lowering the casket into the earth. Those guys might not be playing this at that moment, but it’s playing as the soundtrack in the movie.
  • War Coming: my favorite SFU song. A death metal masterpiece. What a powerfully delivered chorus. Then he hits the best drawn out “Warrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr….” at the 1:35 mark – followed immediately by a sinister sounding guitar groove. Killer