Six Feet Under
Nightmares of the Decomposed

According to the press release, this is full length number 17 for Smokey McPots (Chris Barnes). Apparently, there are 4 Graveyard Classics albums. Why? Anyway, I have 14 of those albums according to my iTunes library. I hold their debut Haunted in very high esteem, but the first real death metal record I ever heard was Maximum Violence before I turned into an actual metal head. This was recommended to me after an older acquaintance looked through my CD collection and saw the first two Static-X albums. I dug it. It was different. It was primal. “Torture Killer” became the first death metal song to which I learned the lyrics. I will admit I have enjoyed to certain extents most previous releases.

Oof. This, though… This. I want to mention the first two singles, which you have likely heard by the time this review surfaces, “Amputator” and “Zodiac.” The former is bad. Really bad. So bad that the comments on the YouTube premiere were turned off. The latter single is better. Well, less of a steaming bag of shit. It has a pretty cool riff and groove, but ultimately I was annoyed because the solo at the end, which included some great drum fills by Marco Pitruzzella had Chris for some reason still repeating the phrase “Zodiac” over those parts. This brings me to my next point.

Chris Barnes is constipated. His vocals were clearly written and recorded while on the toilet (everybody knows you do your best thinkin’ when you’re stinkin’). They’re  just short bursts or grunts. There’s a little more emphasis in some spots. I assume that’s when he finally gets that turtle head poking out and he doesn’t want to waste it. There’s also an attempt at a pig squeal for variety’s sake or what the fuck ever, but none of those deep, trademark growls.

A little less than halfway through, there’s a standout track. By that, I mean it’s basically the one on here I would rather listen to than slamming my flaccid dick in a sliding glass door. It’s called “Migraine” and it’s track 5. You already know the vocals aren’t good, but let’s leave it at that because the rest of the song is killer. It has an almost bluesy riff and doom groove to it. If it weren’t for those, well, you know what, I said I would “leave it at that,” so let’s move on.

It is a butt fucking shame that the musicianship on display here is wasted by the vocals of some sort of Mr. Hankey and gurgling frog offspring named Barnes. “Self-Imposed Death Sentence” has such a cool, groovy bass presence and a stellar lead, but the vocals are the equivalent of someone throwing a dead fish on your burger. It doesn’t help that the vocal patterns are simple. This trend includes “Drink Blood Get High” and “Labyrinth of Insanity.”

The last track on the album is called “Without Your Life” and it begins with the most pathetic, pained pig squeal I think I have ever heard, rivaled only by the one on the earlier track “The Rotting.” At least it only happens once in the former. I just don’t even know why he tried. Once again, great riffs, great groove, and a fantastic lead. You already know what isn’t up to par about it. So, let’s talk about that.

God damn it. I did not want to spend an entire review ripping this album apart because it doesn’t seem productive. Why write about something I don’t enjoy? People have been giving Chris Barnes shit for a long time and I honestly didn’t get it because I still enjoyed the music. I picked this up, even after hearing the first single thinking I would be the voice of reason and have the dude’s back. Welp… To quote serial philanderer and general human shit stain Bill O’Reilly; “Fucking thing sucks!” The vocals, especially that ridiculous pig squeal never amount to anything more than a painful distraction from the wonderful instrumentation. This band deserves better. Maybe they can obtain the rights to the music and get Corpsegrinder to re-record the vocals. Otherwise, maybe take a listen to “Amputator” on YouTube, get a few chuckles, then go listen to something else worth your time because… This. Fucking. Isn’t.

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
October 7th, 2020

Comments

  1. Commented by: F.Rini

    Great and honest review. I needed a laugh today and your review brought it. Thanks.


  2. Commented by: J. Mays

    Thanks! Believe it or not, I really tried not to be too hard on this album, but I think there was more effort in my review than in the vocal performance.


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