What can you say about Six Feet Under that people haven’t already said? They’re one of the most-widely known and celebrated death metal bands, fronted by one of the most prolific frontmen in death metal, Chris Barnes. Barnes has had a good amount of success with Six Feet Under, keeping the discography consistent yet fresh at the same time. Except this time, with Crypt Of The Devil, things are perhaps fresher than they ever have been, with a little help from his friends.
Rather than recording an album with Six Feet Under’s current line-up, the entirety of Crypt Of The Devil was written by Barnes and essentially the rest of the band, Cannabis Corpse; consisting of Phil Hall on guitars, Josh Hall on drums, and Brandon Ellis on lead guitar. I just love this whole idea: Cannabis Corpse, while not exactly a Cannibal Corpse parody/tribute band, is obviously influenced by the band (and likely by Barnes himself). Barnes recently does a guest appearance on Cannabis Corpse’s new album, and then in return Barnes and Cannabis Corpse writes Six Feet Under’s new album.
Um…sure! Ok! Cannabis Corpse is pretty awesome, let’s see what they got!
Including Crypt Of The Devil, I have personally reviewed Six Feet Under’s last three albums on this website. And I can say that out of those three albums that this one is definitely the best. Although not exactly written by the regular band line up, this is very much Six Feet Under’s particular brand of death metal. Cannabis Corpse isn’t exact the same sort of feel as Six Feet Under, but shares many similarities, as does Six Feet Under with Cannabis Corpse. It’s incredibly heavy without constantly using blistering tempos to determine its heaviness. The whole album grooves while being incredible death metal.
As is usually the case with new Six Feet Under albums, Barnes and Co. haven’t made any drastic changes or have tried to venture too much outside of the sound we expect out of them. And this isn’t a bad thing at all since they seemed to have a winning formula about them. Songs like “Eternal Darkness” and “Stab” are just fast enough to get you moving in pits and your neck a little bit sore, while “Slit Wrists” and “Open Coffin Orgy” won’t make you stop banging your head, but might make just want to groove out. Barnes is of course leading the charge with his trademarks growls and grunts, switching between those and some crushing higher shrieks. It’s all the right stuff that you should be rightfully looking forward to in a Six Feet Under record.
"Open Coffin Orgy"
But, the truth of the matter is that it’s all very predictable. We expect to hear the grooves, we expect to hear the absolute minimum of blast beats and we expect the Barnes gutturals, and all of those expectations certainly are met. It’s sort of an opportunity for people to take optimistic or pessimistic stances. Personally, I think Crypt Of The Devil is absolutely fantastic, and one of the best in their entire discography. Sure, it’s all of the elements we’re accustomed to, but this is all of the elements done the right way that they all should be done. After a while, I forgot that I was listening to the lovechild of Six Feet Under and Cannabis Corpse. And if that doesn’t speak for the albums accomplishment, then just try it out for yourself and you’ll see what I mean.