SIX FEET UNDER - Crypts of the Devil
Metal Blade Records
To me, this album is above average, not the "same old, same old" from the band, they diversify. Most of the songs are moderately paced, thick heavy guitars, guttural throat, gruesome lyrics, leads that are ferocious and a production that's solid. I immediately got into this one big time because it's different, but in a good way. They maintain their death 'n roll sort of genre-type with more of an emphasis on a death metal approach, not really too much of an entire groove. Their riffs are quite creative. I've never really been a Chris Barnes' fan, though I have respect for his band as well as his days with CANNIBAL CORPSE. He's different on here, now less burly throat and some higher pitched is up there too.
It seems as though this line-up here worked out well. The leads ARE phenomenal very fast and playing really well. They blend with the music quite good. Even though this is a little under 40 minutes in length, it doesn't lack ingenuity or creativity. The songwriting is entirely unique due to it's a catchy sort of feel. It's not that technical nor have anything that I've heard from this band has ever been technical; I'd say it's one of their best releases to date. I don't mean that because of past releases not been very good at all, it's just that they've taken a little bit of a different thinking here. It reflects more of a darker sound with riffs that aim to show that more of plain death metal with a bit of groove too.
I think that justice was done here on the genre(s), SIX FEET UNDER found their niche with this lineup and concept in songwriting. Sound quality was good, the mixing fantastic. It wasn't ill-fated or contemptible; I had that thinking in my mind before I played this one, but was greatly mistaken. Barnes is good here and who he selected to participate in the album worked out really well. It's gruesome lyrically though that's been the concept always. It's just that the riff-writing was superb and all of the music I have respect for. What's really lacked in past efforts were the lead guitar and really catchy riffs. They've always been heavy and here their concept of "heavy" is a more of a death metal approach.
I really didn't want to page through the lyrics especially disliking the name of the album, I appreciated the music and vocals to a outstanding extent. A lot of their albums I've had in the past I never was a big-time favorable fan of because of Barnes not to mention distasteful songwriting. This one definitely caught me off-guard. I think that it really is a triumph musically and sound-wise was done with precision. I wished that it was longer, but it is what it is. When I reflect on the lead guitar, it gets me reminiscent of James Murphy circa early DEATH and OBITUARY releases. The main guitar will just blast you with intensity and unique variability. There was a modicum of blasting beating too!
You can YouTube this album, or listen to individual tracks that are on YouTube if you don't feel like hearing the whole album. I didn't think that this was a wash really; it had a tremendous amount of appreciating rhythms chalk that up with a hoarse voice and drums that crush. I think that they experimented somewhat, this is not as much groove to it; it's more in your face death metal. I liked it from beginning to end. I thought that it was a great effort by the band; they did justice in their discography here. I'll never be able to get into the lyrical concepts but the music, YES! Check it out if you're looking for heavy death metal mixed with a taint of groove to it and ingenuity with genuine quality!
Ryan “Death8699” Fanucchi