Legendary death metal band Six Feet Under return with their explosive seventeenth full-length, Nightmares Of The Decomposed. Comprised of twelve tracks, it is a defining statement, making it very clear that more than twenty-five years into their career they remain at the forefront of the genre. Dynamic, heavy as hell, catchy, and uncompromising, it is everything that the band’s longtime faithful have come to expect from the deadly unit, and is clearly the product of a lot of hard work.
Initially formed as a side project for Chris Barnes, the original vocalist of death metal progenitors Cannibal Corpse, Six Feet Under became the frontman’s sole focus in 1995, coinciding with the release of their debut, Haunted. Since then the band has been prolific, dropping twelve albums of original material interspersed with collections of covers that they put their unique spin on, the Graveyard Classics series. Over the years, several members have passed through the band’s ranks with only Barnes remaining from the original lineup, but this has not led to any wavering in the quality of their output. In 2020 the lineup is rounded out by guitarists Jack Owen and Ray Suhy, bassist Jeff Hughell and drummer Marco Pitruzzella, and what is perhaps most notable about Nightmares Of The Decomposed is that it reunites Barnes with fellow Cannibal Corpse alum Owen.
Chris Barnes commented: “Working again after 25 years writing an album with my old band mate from Cannibal Corpse, Jack Owen, was like coming home…To a room full of dead bodies. Jack’s writing and riff work on this album gave me the fuel to write some disturbing lyrics and really set my creative mind on fire.”
Having joined Six Feet Under in 2017, just after the release of Torment, when it came time to write a new record Owen took front and center, penning the music for the entire collection with Barnes as usual handling the lyrics. The result is a diverse collection that refuses to stay in one gear the whole time. From the pedal to the metal attack of opener “Amputator” to the slow and sludgy “Labyrinth Of Insanity” or the potently evil grooves of “Blood Of The Zombie” there is no let up in brutality but the dynamism is exhilarating, and they keep you guessing as to where they will go next.
Tracked at various studios including Criteria Studios in Miami, Florida, which over the years has played host to the likes of AC/DC, Black Sabbath, and Aerosmith amongst others, it was produced, engineered and mixed by Chris Carroll, who has given it a full and chunky feel. The album’s mastering was handled by Chaz Najjar at Badlands Recording in Denver, Colorado. The finished product is packed with songs that will sound great live, and will sit comfortably alongside the classics already filling out their set lists, helping to drive the band ever closer to their fourth decade of existence.
Six Feet Under is:
Chris Barnes - vocals
Jack Owen - rhythm and lead guitar
Ray Suhy - lead guitar
Jeff Hughell - bass
Marco Pitruzzella - drums