Review Summary: About as awful as the cover art would suggest.
What is there to say about Six Feet Under that hasn’t already been said a million times over? This side project turned solo project of ex-Cannibal Corpse frontman Chris Barnes has been an object of scorn for metalhead’s the world over ever since the late 90’s and is widely considered to be one of the worst mainstream death metal acts ever. Ever since the release of a generic, albeit passable debut, the band has been on a seemingly endless downward spiral of trying to make each subsequent entry in their absurdly large discography worse than the last. Personally, I first “experienced” this laughably bad band through their third album, Maximum Violence
, which I ignorantly purchased out of a CD store clearance bin several years ago. I think it's safe to say that when one of a band’s highest rated albums starts off with a death metal rap song, there is no way to go but down on their lower rated releases.
On Bringer of Blood
, the band’s sixth full-length, Six Feet Under make it clear from the get go that they have zero intention of righting the wrongs of their previous disaster, True Carnage
, which was universally panned by everyone with functioning eardrums. The album opens with “Sick in the Head”, which is utterly abysmal. The song begins with whispered vocals layered over Barnes’ infamous cookie monster death growls, which both sound atrocious when put together. This continues for 30 seconds before the song switches to Barnes growling “you’re dead to me” over and over again before finally shrieking “OH MY ***ING GOD” in his nasally Bleeding-era Cannibal Corpse voice. The entire intro to this song is absolutely terrible, but it was at the shriek where I lost my *** when originally listening to this. Better yet, this part is repeated throughout the song, killing any sense of the tension or seriousness that the band was clearly going for here with the cringy, try-hard opening. Aside from the terrible vocals and lyrics, the song is musically quite generic and contains nothing worth talking about riff or drumming wise.
The rest of the album continues in the same fashion with the exception of the second track, “Amerika the Brutal”, which goes for a groovy, death 'n' roll sound and while this song is also laughably bad, I’d argue that it’s the best thing on the album. This song has simplistic, catchy guitar work and drumming that make it stand out in an otherwise aggressively boring album. The vocals are still awful and on the chorus, Barnes’ vocals sound particularly strained while he shouts “NO WAR” over and over again. Personally, I see this as an example of a “so bad it's good” song. As mentioned previously, the other songs on the album are basically just the first song played at varying speeds. The guitars occasionally play a solid, head-banging death metal riff, but the vast majority of the album is generic, despite the fact that some of the band members played in heavyweight death metal bands like Death and Massacre before this. On top of the generic playing, Barnes’ vocals had already started deteriorating by this point and his lyrics here on Bringer of Blood
, as one might guess, are a far cry from his legendarily nasty Cannibal Corpse material. Overall, the music on here is sub-par death metal at best.
Normally when writing reviews, I try to go at least a bit in depth with line-up information and the background behind the album’s creation, but in this case, I really don’t think anyone cares. It’s Six Feet Under, of course it’s bad. While nowhere near as terrible as the band’s most recent offerings, Bringer of Blood
serves as yet another example of this band’s consistent failure to produce decent material, no matter how many competent musicians there are backing Chris Barnes. If you want to laugh, there are a few bits here that are likely to deliver on that front, but if you are looking for quality death metal there is literally no reason why you should listen to this (or any of this band’s other albums really). It is honestly baffling to me how a band this bad can continue to put out albums and tour when much better underground projects struggle to get signed and fade into obscurity. But hey, they are fun to bash, so at least there’s that I guess.