It’s no secret: I have never praised SIX FEET UNDER and I prefer the “Corpsegrinder” side of CANNIBAL CORPSE. Chris Barnes’ side project has never attracted much of my attention – until the release of “Commandment.”
SIX FEET UNDER have unified in one musical direction at last, and the new release shows a mature blend of the varying tempos and attitudes depicted in previous efforts. With the abandonment of the experimentation phase SIX FEET UNDER seem clear-cut and well-defined, if not polished. Chris has banished the squealing pig vocals that ruined so many previous recordings, and at times his straight-forward guttural approach beckons reference to Dave Ingram’s finer moments.
Chris delivers a healthy dose of Death Metal creativity (his true specialty) in lyrical compositions such as “Zombie Executioner,” “The Edge Of The Hatchet,” and “In A Vacant Grave.” The following words taken from “As The Blade Turns” sum up the lyrical content of the release quite well:
Coroner had a difficult time determining cause of death
Another one left for the insects, snakes, and rats
With few vocal inconsistencies the music can take a more prominent role in this release, which allows for a few decent leads and a plethora of catchy riffs. Songs like “Doomsday” and “Bled To Death” have a listenable groove throughout while other tracks, such as “Zombie Executioner,” have rougher edges. The drum work and bass lines prove of minimal consequence, which (as much as I hate to admit it) bring Chris’ talents to the forefront of the release to make it solid.
Although I would not recommend every fan of Death Metal to rush out and buy “Commandment” I would encourage those who doubt Chris Barnes’ ability to accomplish great things in exile from CANNIBAL CORPSE to give it a shot. Who knows? We may see a glowing review of SIX FEET UNDER in our near future.
(Online July 19, 2007)