Although many reviewers see a new album by SIX FEET UNDER as a great opportunity to show off their ranting capabilities it doesn’t seem to affect SIX FEET UNDER’s popularity. I’ll have to admit that I don’t pay any interest in what SIX FEET UNDER does these days, in my opinion they peaked around “Warpath”. Why all this talk about SIX FEET UNDER you might ask, I’ll explain. TORTURE KILLER has taken their name from a SFU song, they play music that sounds like the same band and now they even have Chris Barnes on vocals. I can right away say that TORTURE KILLER sounds better in my ears than what SFU does.
That doesn’t mean, however, that I’m going to give accolades of praise to the gentlemen involved. It’s the same slow to mid tempo Death Metal that SFU performs, though with better musicianship and production. “Swarm” also contains some guitar solos\harmonies, can’t say I’ve heard much of that on any SFU releases. Not that there is overly much of it present here either. Chris Barnes sounds just the same way as he has done after joining the ranks of SFU. I’m not the biggest fans of his vocals anymore, but one can’t deny that he has a unique growl. It wouldn’t be hard picking out his voice from a crowd. And a crowd is just what this music needs. I found out that after seeing SFU live at Wacken Open Air somewhere in the past. The songs I thought was utterly boring on plastic worked surprisingly well live.
My main issue with “Swarm” is its failure to stir up any emotions in me, it leaves me indifferent. I know exactly what’s going to happen around the next corner. Apart from the opening instrumental, a rather good one and the occasional solo\harmony, there isn’t much happening. Sure the drums are played with a little more imagination, the guitars riffs a bit faster, but all in all it’s SIX FEET UNDER part two. “Forever Dead” could have been a good song if it were 2 minutes shorter. The last minute(s) of the song has a good guitar harmony with the growls of Chris Barnes on top. It’s just that I have to listen to 3 minutes of music that leaves me blank before I get there.
Those who hold SFU dear shouldn’t hesitate one second before buying “Swarm”. Those who hated SFU in the first place, quite some it seems, shouldn’t even think about doing the same. I see TORTURE KILLER as an upgraded version of SIX FEET UNDER. (Online March 22, 2006)