“N00b, I have something for you.” I turn to face the voice, surprised to be spoken to directly as all my assignments have arrived via raven scroll thus far. “I want to reward you for how well you’ve handled being the worst n00b.” Steel Druhm hands me a wrapped package. I stand dumb, just as I always do in the presence of authority figures. “I think you’ll like it,” he says with a straight face before turning to walk away. I hear a sound that might be snickering as he disappears around the corner, but I’m too amazed at surviving a face-to-face encounter with him to notice. I look down at the package and peel back a corner of the wrapping. I find a sticker that reads, “For fans of Maiden, Priest, Accept, and Falconer.” Oh my god! Has Christmas come early? Is Steel Druhm one of those “good” evil overlords?
I open my gift and find The Six Foot Six Project, the debut album from Six Foot Six. The band is the brainchild of Kristoffer Göbel who spent time in Falconer. I love some of that band’s output, so my excitement builds. After pressing play, I’m treated to three standard but well executed heavy/power metal songs. So far so good! Wait, something’s wrong. “The worst n00b,” Steel had said. I should have known better. It’s a trap! Fourth song “Frozen in Time” begins, and I’m shocked to hear a subdued alternative rock song. I check to make sure my wife hasn’t changed it to some of her XM Pulse music. Nope. The album begins to alternate between heavy metal and alternative songs straight outta the 90’s. “Anomina” and “In Defiance” belong on an R.E.M. album. You’ve literally heard “From the Ground” before. Its intro shamelessly apes Soundgarden’s “Spoonman.” The song also features female gospel background vocals that simply don’t work. Like my kids finishing their dinner, T6F6P saves the worst for last. Closer “Ephemeral” sounds like one of the overly dramatic mid-paced Trans-Siberian Orchestra songs that never make my Christmas playlist.
It doesn’t take much time to notice that Six Foot Six has a major identity problem. T6F6P features three guest vocalists and wildly swings between genres, so it plays more like a strange playlist than an album. There’s next to no information about the individual band members besides Göbel. Whoever they are, they capably play whatever each song demands. This band could succeed in metal or alternative, but they should pick one, damn it! The bizarre combination of the two is too unsettling to work. And don’t get me started on the name.
There are a few decent songs on here. Opener “Virus Inside” stomps like Accept and has a soaring Avantasia chorus. “Pride and Glory” begins as a mid-paced rocker then gallops into Maiden territory. It features the vocal highlight of the album as the singer gives a great performance that reminds me of Blaze Bayley. Even the aforementioned “Anomina” is catchy as hell despite the fact that it angers me in the context of the rest of the album. The album’s standout track is the lone true power metal song “Test of Time.” A driving rhythm, cheese-filled chorus and great leads make it the one song that lives up to my initial expectations. The album sounds great with a beefy production that works well for both the heavier and more tame songs.
Like a recipe created by taking a bunch of random high quality ingredients and throwing them into a pot together, T6F6P features talented musicians and some good songs but has no cohesion. There’s not a chance I’d reach for this over the bands mentioned on the “For fans of:” sticker. Give it a try if you’re in the minority that enjoys a healthy dose of 90’s alternative with your power metal. Otherwise, steer clear. I learned a valuable lesson on this one: Beware of gorilla bosses bearing gifts.
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps mp3
Websites: Too cool for the inter-webz
Label: Pride and Joy Music
Releases Worldwide: November 16th, 2018