New Album Review

Six Feet Under – Nightmares of the Decomposed (2020)

Have I mentioned that I love Chris Barnes and Six Feet Under?! You know that I certainly have, Butcher Crew! And Nightmares of the Decomposed is no exception. It was released on October 2, 2020 by Metal Blade Records. This record is Six Feet Under’s 17th full-length album, and as usual, it marks a difference in vocal style and musical composition. 

First, Chris Barnes’ vocals continue to evolve (or, devolve) from the early days of ‘95s The Haunted, where his gutterals were legendary; to mid-career material like Undead (2012) and Unborn (2013), where he utilized a strangely darker vocal sound – not as gravely, but more psychotic sounding – to Nightmares of the Decomposed where we find Barnes’ vocals a creepy combination of gutteral and nearly out-of-control rasp. I like it! You can tell it’s Barnes, and at the same time you’re like, what the hell is going on?! And we can’t forget his patented squEEEEEEl!!! 

Secondly, the band. Jeff Hughell (Asylum, Vile, Braindrill) has been on bass since 2012, “Lord Marco” Pitruzzella (Vile, Braindrill, Vital Remains, The Faceless) has been on drums since 2013, Ray Suhy has been a guitarist since 2015, and Jack Owen (Cannibal Corpse, Decide) joins in on guitars for this record. We haven’t seen the Barnes/Owen combination since the early days of Cannibal Corpse, and you can tell by the writing of both music and lyrics that having these two back together is a very good thing. 

And finally, Six Feet Under have returned to a more classic sound, musically. Most of the songs on Nightmares of the Decomposed are slow to mid-tempo, groovy bops (and you already know that I like that!) with the legendary Jack Owen-style riffs. Great examples of this tone are “Migraine” and “The Noose.” They just ooze along, leaking bodily fluids, as the vocals tell a horrifying story. Then, there’s another style, here, like on “Blood of the Zombie” and “Self Imposed Death Sentence.” The rhythm progressions are layered, while harmonies (yes, harmonies!) and melodies (what?!!) fill out the song with a thick beating. And finally, the faster songs – “Amputator” and “Without Your Life” – are great examples of the technical skill of the band. The latter, in fact, combines all three elements – ooze, layered beatings, and technical pulverizing for one excellent song! As Barnes says in “Labyrinth of Insanity,” enjoy the ride! 

Track Listing:

  1. Amputator
  2. Zodiac
  3. The Rotting
  4. Death Will Follow 
  5. Migraine 
  6. The Noose 
  7. Blood of the Zombie 
  8. Self Imposed Death Sentence 
  9. Dead Girls Don’t Scream
  10. Drink Blood Get High 
  11. Labyrinth of Insanity 
  12. Without Your Life 

Favorite Songs: Amputator; The Rotting; The Noose; Without Your Life

Rating: 8.5/10 – a strong offering from Six Feet Under! 

What are some of your favorite songs?

Stay Metal,