I’ve often wondered what exactly is the point of SIX FEET UNDER? Sure, the debut, “Haunted”, had its moments, but there was nothing on that record that wasn’t already done better by CANNIBAL CORPSE. And I realize that due to his work in the aforementioned band, Chris Barnes is looked upon favorably by many Death Metal diehards. But really, does SIX FEET UNDER offer anything of value to the Metal scene? Their style is boringly simplistic, and any talent to be found in Barnes guttural vomiting went by the wayside long ago. And now that nearly every other release the band turns out is a cover album, isn’t it about time to call the joke over?
Regardless of my distaste of SIX FEET UNDER, the powers at TMO have still given me the task of reviewing “Graveyard Classics III”, and I’m not one to shun my duties. One listen through, and my original question of “what’s the point” is all that remains. Basically, take some classic Metal and Rock tunes, play them nearly faithfully to the originals – adding very little of their own character, except for hardening up the BTO song – then drop some of the worst, most garbled vocals (not to mention pig squeals), and you have “Graveyard Classics III”. On the other hand, at least the instrumentation is solid (if not almost completely unexciting), and not all of the songs are complete wastes. The simplicity of “Psychotherapy” suits SIX FEET UNDER well, and is one of the few times where Barne’s doesn’t get in the way. And “Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck” is actually far less annoying than the original, with the double-bass breaks adding some nice heavy groove.
Best of all, the band didn’t choose to bastardize a classic album in its entirety (see “Graveyard Classics II”). So, it could be worse, just imagine SIX FEET UNDER taking on something like “Led Zeppelin IV” or “Epicus Doomicus Metallicus” for a really shuddering moment. I’ll just leave it at that.
(Online June 19, 2010)