Chris Barnes (my favorite Death Metal vocalist) was still in Cannibal Corpse when his side project, Six Feet Under, debuted their first album, Haunted (Metal Blade Records; 1995). While with Cannibal Corpse (the first four albums – Eaten Back to Life, ’90; Butchered at Birth, ’91; Tomb of the Mutilated, ’92; and The Bleeding, ’94), Barnes wrote some of the most brutal subject matter in all of Metal. With hardly an understandable syllable on the first three records, Barnes changed his style on The Bleeding, his last with Cannibal Corpse. This slower, gravelly, rumbling, gutteral style is what he carried over to the first few Six Feet Under records.
With Six Feet Under, and particularly on Haunted, Barnes dials back the more offensive subject matter, while retaining the beatings, blood and guts, and torture of classic Death Metal material. What a record this is, still! Barnes sets the standard for Death Metal vocalists, and his form and style are recognizable anywhere. As “Hammer Smashed Face” (from his days with Cannibal Corpse) is forever a classic, so “Remains of You” stands beside it as premier Chris Barnes performances. To be honest, Chris Barnes IS Six Feet Under!
With that said, Barnes has quite a lineup on Haunted. On guitar he has Allen West (Obituary), the bass is played by Terry Butler (Obituary; Death), and on the drums is Greg Gall. While this record is void of typical Death Metal blast beats, there is a more classical style time-keeping and smooth double bass under West’s patented groovy riffs, with Butler’s powerful bass tracks. Obviously, with West and Butler present, this record reminds me of Obituary (another of my favorites).
Rating: 10/10! …Just a perfect Death Metal record!! Classic!!!
Favorite Song: Remains of You
But every song, here – The Enemy Inside, Silent Violence, Lycanthropy; Still Alive; Beneath a Black Sky, Human Target, Suffering in Ecstasy, Tomorrow’s Victim, Torn to the Bone, and Haunted – is Awesome!