It’s been over a decade since Six Feet Under released the album “Bringer of Blood” which in many circles was charitably referred to as “the worst death metal of all time”…
After a slew of line up changes and several albums down the line the band have become less of a laughing stock and more of a guilty pleasure or curious oddity to most fans. The addition of Jeff Hughell and Marco Pitruzella who have previous experience in bands such as Braindrill and Vital Remains on their resume has certainly added some clout to their musical pedigree.
In short “Crypt of the Devil” is a serviceable old school death metal record. It’s stripped down and simplistic but perfectly executed by all the musicians involved. Guitarist Steve Swanson in particular shines with some pretty nifty solos. All the songs are typical death metal foil boasting titles such as “Broken Bottle Rape” and “Stab”. Whilst there’s a lack of particularly memorable riffs, it’s an album that does exactly what you expect.
It’s curious that the albums main downfall is the very person who is responsible for the bands popularity, Chris Barnes. There is only so far Barnes can run with his past glories of being the former singer of Cannibal Corpse as he now sounds like your non-metal friend in a pub doing an impersonation of death metal vocals. His ‘old man with a chest infection’ lows and comically pathetic highs often make sections of songs unintentionally hilarious and whilst it’s a marked improvement on his performance on “Bringer of Blood”, it’s still simply far from adequate.
Six Feet Under are a band that you would likely happily go to see live if they were playing a show near you, but this album is completely irrelevant. One hopes the likes of Swanson, Hughell and Pitruzella will be given a chance in the future to display the real extent of their musical ability but for now they are wasted in a band with a vocalist who is effectively the Alan Partridge of death metal, existing purely on past accolades and completely unaware of his decline in ability.
REVIEW BY: Seth
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