text: Dawid Krosnia
Six Feet Under
Metal Blade Records
February 24th, 2017
Six Feet Under is probably one of the hardest working bands out there. Chris Barnes and his team of gore addicted band members is marching across the globe year after year trying to make a living from the most brutal and evil music on this planet. I admire such dedication and passion for the music. Nothing comes easy, especially in the metal music industry. Only talented, honest and hard working bands will manage to survive almost three decades in the brutal modern corrupted reality.
Torment is their 16th full-length record and it is going to be released at the end of this month through Metal Blade Records. Just to point out one thing – since the debut album, Haunted, Six Feet Under stayed loyal to them. Not many bands have such a great trust and relationship with a label for that long. I’m pretty sure that it wasn’t perfect at all the times and both of the parties had to overcome few obstacles on their path to success but they managed to stay together and produce fantastic results until the present day.
The vocals and the guitars for Torment were recorded at Chris’ and Jeff’s own studios. Marco decided to record the drums at the London Bridge studio in Seattle. The album was mixed by Zeuss who previously worked on the Unborn record. Chris Barnes produced the album himself. Which, I guess, is a great idea as you get what you’ve imagined for the final product to sound like. If anything goes wrong, you can’t blame anyone but yourself. The front cover and artwork in the CD booklet was produced by Indonesian artist and close friend of the band, Septian Devenum. I think he’s done an amazing job. The front cover image is vivid. I like the bloody red logo and album title on the white background. I like the fact that it’s not overdone and the artist kept it to the bare minimum. People say ‘less is more‘, and I would have to agree with regards to what we can see on that cover.
Musically, Torment is slightly different to what we’ve experienced on the last few records. In a good way. The heavy, chunky and slower death metal style is the band’s trademark. On Undead, Unborn and Crypt of the Devil, Jeff approached his writing in a more mellow and melodic way. This time, it almost feels like he’s gone back in time and listened to the first albums produced by Six Feet Under and took inspiration from there to write the material that will crush your soul in the most brutal and vicious way possible. The first song promoting the album and released by the Metal Blade Records was Sacrificial Kill, probably one of the best songs on Torment. After hearing it for the first time I was speechless, I was gasping for air, I wanted to hear more, I wanted to be part of that ‘sacrificial kill‘. Few weeks later, another new track surfaced on the Internet, The Separation of Flesh from Bone. Outstanding offering indeed. This song has got variety of tempo changes, the vocals are insanely good. Let me tell you something, Six Feet Under is in a good shape. I can’t wait to hear those two songs live. The whole album offers many other songs that will satisfy any death metal maniac out there. Tracks like Knife Through the Skull, Slaughtered as They Slept or Roots of Evil are simply amazingly written. The music with the lyrical concept of those songs, or in fact any song on this album, will push your imagination to the limits. I’m a big fan of all the gore, murder and killings themes so I’m overwhelmed by the story lines in each track. Chris Barnes is a one sick bastard! I adore all his previous work but this time he’s definitely stepped up in this game.
If you’re a death metal fan you should easily enjoy Torment. The songwriting and lyrical topics are what the gore metal is all about. I can’t wait to have this album in my Six Feet Under collection. I’ve recently conducted an interview with Chris, so if you’d like to find out more about this recording the past, the link is below. Torment will be out on the 24th February worldwide and it’s available to pre-order right now. Go and get it! Let the killing begin!