Six Feet Under – Death Rituals (Metal Blade/Stomp)

The idea of putting legendary pop producers Stock, Waterman & Aitken together with Death Metal legends Six Feet Under might have seemed like a very strange idea - but damn did it come up with something amazing!!

Who knew Chris Barnes could reach those notes?  His duet with Kylie is awe-inspiring, as is the hook laden remix of Crossing The River Styx; and the acoustic cover of Motley Crue’s Bastard has to be heard to be believed.

Just pulling your leg! There ain’t no disco remixes, divas, pop tunes or dance trax on this slab of ugly – just Six Feet Under doing what they do best – delivering thirteen tracks of pulverizing, crushing death metal orgy. (Okay, twelve and a pointless segue called Crossroads To Armageddon that sounds like Marilyn Manson talking in his sleep).

And Barnes's voice is still that growl of ugly discontent that it has always been.  Actually, if I didn’t know better I’d say they just dragged a brown bear into the studio and recorded its growls as it eyed off the band through a plate glass window. But there is a cover of Bastard – a grinding, smashed down version that sounds like the bear is screaming obscenities at its captors while feasting on some poor sound engineer. 

But this is Six Feet Under, every track sounds like a hungry bear growling obscenities and chowing down on some poor fool.  Death By Machine, Shot In The Head, Murder Addiction, Killed In Your Sleep - you know what you’re getting: a band who have been together so long they know what the other guy is thinking, they know the moves, they deliver them with ease and they hit hard. Death metal can become pedestrian in the wrong hands but these guys won’t let that happen on their watch.  With a history of covering traditional rock and metal songs from the likes of AC/DC, Black Sabbath and others, this is a band that understands their history and uses it to their advantage.

They’re not trapped in the genre but they also don’t want to push the envelope too hard, these guys know what they’re good at, they’ve long established their patch and I dare any band to try and take it over.  It wont be pretty.

Six Feet Under's Death Rituals is out now on Metal Blade/Stomp.