30 Reviews in 30 Days: #2
First of the month is always tough for an ‘evil landlady.’ My brain is shot by the end of the day. Couple that with allergies from tree pollen and everything else dry and dreary that is my existence in Oklahoma and it’s easy for me to get behind. But I have been listening to music. It helps keep me sane.
Six Feet Under Commandment
Metal Blade Records, Release date: 17-April-2007
Personnel: Chris Barnes (vocals), Steve Swanson (Guitars), Terry Butler (Bass), and Greg Gall (Drums)
Production: Chris Barns (producer), Chris Carroll (Recording), Erik Rutan, Chris Carroll and Javier Valverde (Engineers). Mixed and mastered by Erik Rutan at Mana Recording Studios.
Liner notes include booklet, production notes, and lyrics.
Clocking in at a short, albeit intense, 34 minutes and 26 seconds, the length harkens to the days of vinyl’s time limitations. The font in the liner notes for the lyrics and production notes is a scratchy style of freehand that does not contrast well with the sepia/brown/earthy tones of the overall art. Skulls, of course, abound, as well as the image of an angel that is commonly found on gravestones. It sets the tone for some blasphemous, in your face, grinding noise to come as one pops in the disc.
1. Doomsday – Opens the albums with a strong, grinding in your face attack. Gets your body moving, head banging. Chris Barnes’ trademark growl is evident in the chanting of the ominous lyrical content. Steve Swanson’s guitar is recorded fat and fills your head, with the steady beats of Greg Gall on the drums in background.
2. Thou Shall Kill – We slid the slipstream into the next song. Soaring guitar work is showcased on the bridge, extolling Steve Swanson’s skills for a brief moment. Double kick fuels the increase in speed, like a horde running down a mountainside into the unsuspecting sleepy valley town.
3. Zombie Executioner – Ah the metaphorical zombie, the sheep of people that run around clueless as to what their leaders are doing for them, to them, until it’s too late. Beyond that, it’s probably best not to look too deeply between the lines of Barnes’ lyrics. After the intro, the speed gets frantic, stirring the mosh pot into a flailing sweaty frenzy.
4. The Edge of a Hatchet – Distinctively different from the prior songs, melody/musically. And either I’ve listened to this enough, or Barnes’ chanting is more discernible and comprehensible toward the end of the track. “The edge of a hatchet, all bloody . . .” Oh such pleasant imagery to listen to before drifting off to the land of nightmares.
5. Bled to Death – Marks the return to the sound of the opening track. My fave sequence of the track and even the album is the instrumental bridge that begins at about the 1:58 mark.
6. Resurrection of the Rotten – Prototypical death metal whirl-i-gig of a song. Only difference is you can make out what Barnes’ is growling unlike so many others out there. And that may be ultimately why I like Barnes as a vocalist, despite the lack of range or melodic inflection.
7. As the Blade Turns – Makes me want to roll the windows down on a crisp night and headbang at high speeds in the dark night with the bloody knife laying next to me on the seat.
8. The Evil Eye –
9. In a Vacant Grave – The song title alone evokes a haunting imagery.
10. Ghosts of the Undead – At the end, you are left with wanting more.
Overall, the abrupt ending leaves me a bit cold, but like unto death – all things come to a stop, unlike some of the imagery evoked in Barnes’ lyrics about the dead rising from the grave. It’s an intense ride and if you moshed privately at home for an aerobic workout, this one would be a good session, not too long, not too short, but just right.
Listening notes: Listened to on various formats – my car, my laptop, through headphones. A physical CD was reviewed and I don’t recall when or where I bought it. Last spin while polishing this review was on the Samsung laptop with those earbuds aforementioned in the last post.