Six Feet Under_Crypt Of The DevilAfter a few decades in the music industry, Chris Barnes may have his share of enemies, but none can cause the mammoth career damage he regularly inflicts on himself. After what seems like a lifetime of sub par and outright terrible releases from his Six Feet Under project, he finally stumbled onto something decent with 2013s Unborn. Sure, it was still rudimentary, groove-heavy Neanderthal death, but the writing and playing was a big step forward and for once, things didn’t feel like a parody of the genre. In the unfamiliar position of coming off a good album, Mr. Barnes naturally chose to capitalize on the momentum by tossing his entire band and opting to write and record the new opus with Phil Hall of Cannabis Corpse. I mean, what could go wrong? Well, the short answer is, pretty much everything. Crypt of the Devil is like Cannabis Corpse doing a parody of Six Feet Under instead of their usual target of Cannibal Corpse. It’s brootal in that it’s nearly impossible to sit through or take seriously, and it’s heavy in the sense that it’s ponderous burden to review it. I drew the shortest straw…again.

Things open on a (relative) high point with “Gruesome” with its Decide meets Cannibal Corpse flavor with a bit of Autopsy mixed in. It’s exceptionally generic and not particularly memorable, but hey, it’s Six Feet Under. What does stand out is the quality solo work provided by Brandon Ellis (Arsis, Cannabis Corpse). From there things go wonky bonkers quickly with “Open Coffin Orgy” where Barnes adopts a vocal approach akin to a junkyard dog barking and howling. It’s (I assume) unintentionally funny and as you wonder who let the dogs out, the music swings schizophrenically between primitive Massacre worship and quasi tech-death. It’s like the band tried everything and nothing worked and it ends up a shit show on ice.

Other missteps include the high school band quality of “Break the Cross in Hell” which reminds me of the kiddie death act Crucifictorious from Friday Night Lights and that’s not a compliment. “The Night Bleeds” has a few wicked guitar lines and cracking solos, but it’s all down the drain when Barnes comes in sounding as if he recorded his vocals through a drain.

The best song is “Lost Remains” which benefits from an upscale collection of death and doom riffs and features a more restrained Barnes bruising. It falls somewhat in line with the material on Unborn and therefore stands head and shoulders above the rest of Crypt of the Devil. Also somewhat decent is the simple plod of “Slit Wrists,” but it won’t make anyone’s day or demand extensive replays.

Unicorn3

With runtime just shy of 37 minutes, you don’t get a lot of material and for that I’m thankful. It also helps that the songs all clock in between three and four minutes so none drag the punishment out. Even with the short runtime, this is an arduous listen at best and the low DR doesn’t help much.

Performance-wise, the clear winner is Brandon Ellis on lead guitar. His fluid, snakey and melodic solo work is the bright spot on every song, though they often feel out-of-place amongst the inane drone. The man can definitely shred and while he can’t salvage the material, he does make his moments count. As for Chris Barnes, to be blunt, he does a terrible job here. He’s somehow one of the key innovators of the genre and one of its all time worst vocalists. No easy feat to pull that one off. He frequently sounds like a dog or a newly stuck piggy and when he’s not doing his Barnyard Classics schtick, he’s back to his classic cupped mic garbage disposal roar. It’s terrible and distracting and makes everything seem like a big goof. Aside from that, he does just fine.

Six Feet Under was always the lowest common denominator of death metal and even on their upswing they were no better than average. Now they’ve returned to form, which is sub-serviceable. If you have a fetish for cartoonish metal with a painfully low I.Q., this may last a few spins, but I doubt you’ll be convinced by it. There’s simply too much superior death on the market to give your time and money to this kind of pablum. Nuff said.


Rating: 2.0/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 273 kbps mp3
Label: Metal Blade
Websites: facebook.com/sixfeetunder
Release Dates: Out Worldwide 05.05.2015

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  • Now THAT is a hell of a lede.

    • I call myself Lede Lord.

      • Monsterth Goatom

        I always follow your lede.

      • Martin Knap

        I thought there was only one LGBT reviewer on AMG…

    • And with that, another angry metal meme was born. I will now proceed to picture all of you in the Angry Metal Headquarters comparing the size of your ledes

      • sir_c

        Did you know I am a fan of Lede Zeppelin? I only listen to their intros.

  • FutureBeyondSatan

    Is that a typo? I think you missed the negative in front of the 2.0.
    Those vocals are embarrassing.

    • Excentric_1307

      I too, am surprised about that 2.0…

  • It is incredible how his vocals have deteriorated. I guess pot IS bad for you.

    • Monsterth Goatom

      Probably best to stick with LSD, which is gaining credibility in the medical community.

    • Even the Mona Lisa’s falling apart. Try a recent live Dark Tranquillity video, or David Lee Roth for that matter.

  • Monsterth Goatom

    I compliment you on the review and the Unicorn art. I assume you have another picture at the ready with the rainbow stream coming out the other end?

    • Nah, we like to keep things classy around here, obviously.

  • Oddly, probably the best Six Feet Under album to come out in a decade or more is Torture Killer’s Swarm.

  • Dr. A.N. Grier

    That unicorn must workout.

    • sir_c

      Whilst eating skittles

      • I know what you’re setting up, and I’m just gonna have to pass on actually saying it.

  • You found a unihorn of “wonky bonker” proportions… nicely done Mr Druhm!

    • Are we just gonna see how many time we an say ‘wonky bonkers’ today???

  • Here’s Johnny

    You had to give this to that Jorne teabagger Steel Druhm, didn’t you?

    Taking it way too serious in the review, yes its rudimentary dumb death metal but that’s the whole bloody point. It’s fun. Do you think someone is going to write a song called “Open Coffin Orgy” and be serious about it? I know AMG do things in their spare time but i didn’t think you’s were that sick!

    • Fun is cool, but it still has to be good to be amusing and enjoyable, which this is not. And I’ve been stuck with the past 3 SFU albums. I’m willing to hand it off next time, but I tend to think the other reviewers would have given it an even lower score.

      • Here’s Johnny

        The first 3 songs are entertaining for a start, the musicianship is more interesting than previous albums.

        2.5/5 would have sufficed imho, these SFU albums are as not as bad as people are making out. Yes, its meat and potatoes death metal but sometimes that is just what you need.

        • A segment of the death metal community has just become habituated to complaining about every SFU release. Just listen if you like it, and try to tune out the din of the conformists.

    • And it’s Cannabis Corpse man, those guys kick ass up and down the street

  • André Snyde Lopes

    This site is turning me unisexual.

  • Alexandre Barata

    The album is appaling, in the same way as anything SFU did since, well, probably, ever. That unicorn makes up for it though, and if it came with the album as a huge poster I would buy it in no time!

  • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

    “As for Chris Barnes, to be blunt…”

    Nailed it.

    • You got that one, eh?

      • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

        Of course! If there’s two things I know, they’re quality punmanship and what qualifies as deathcore.

    • Also, the Barnes bruising, subtle.

    • Πολύφημος Σπαζοκλαμπάνιας

      musaka the food?

  • I like that most who jump to defend SFU are in the “It’s not meant to be serious, dummy” stage of denial. I think that almost every form of entertainment have to be able to induce at least a bit of that “suspension of disbelief” state for this to be a valid argument. Otherwise you damn better be able to produce something akin to what “The Room” did for cinema to engage with your audience.

    • Excentric_1307

      Or GWAR’s output. They’re very serious about not being serious.

    • Here’s Johnny

      Open Coffin Orgy is serious? Is any gore death metal serious?

    • I think the error is for SFU fans to spend any time defending their preferences at all. Are you the cool music police, denying listening licenses to those that can’t provide hard proof of the excellence of their musical choices ? Even if you’re not a scientist, it should be clear enough that there is nothing empirical in your like or dislike of any band.

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    ouch…

  • Vice-President of Hell

    It’s all so bad?

    • If you like Cannabis Corpse, it’s probably pretty good. (I have yet to get my preorder in the mail … lazy bastards)

  • JL

    I agree that this is a horrible record in all regards.

  • Tom Hardy

    No interest or curiosity in listening to this band, ever.

  • It’s pretty clear the author has a strong bias against SFU from the outset, to the extent that he’d probably give a poor review regardless of the backing band. In this case, the verbal acrobatics necessary to connect albums written and performed by disparate musicians is quite a spectacle.

    For fans of old Cannibal Corpse, like myself, Cannabis Corpse is as close as there is to music like those classic records. As such, this is basically a dream team for those who had pined for an eventual CC reunion.

    Steel Druhm here is clearly not the target audience, probably preferring a good dose of Whitechapel instead, given his predilection for Unborn, their weakest release in a decade. Isn’t it a bit embarrassing to side with the Youtube comment kids, and try to be funny by deprecating all things Barnes ?

    • As if I like any deathcore. If you think Barnes is a good vocalist and SFU is a good band, so be it, but I’m hardly embarrassed by thinking Unborn is significantly better than this.

      • Again, if someone likes a band, why is there any necessity to defend them ? Musical preferences aren’t something that can be proved right or wrong through debate.

        Similarly, one would only feel embarrassed about liking something if they needed external approval to validate their tastes.

        As for Unborn, at least to my ears it was a sort of Michael Bay movie, overproduced and light on substance.

        • Pat Riarch

          “Again, if someone likes a band, why is there any necessity to defend them ?”

          The irony is lost on you.

  • Pat Riarch

    Like a lot of other SFU albums, would be better if Barnes wasn’t on it.

    SFU is always there to remind us that Cannibal Corpse made the right choice back in 95.

  • xpmule

    Came for the “Goatgrind” review and then read this one..
    Both where on the money 100% accurate !

    The summary of Six Feet Under as a band was prefect.

    I checked out this album and thought it was horrendous.

  • Steven Harris

    I like sfu’s original material but their cover songs suck sweaty ball sacks.