Six Feet Under - Nightmares Of The Decomposed review



Reviewer:
5.0

85 users:
4.66
Band: Six Feet Under
Album: Nightmares Of The Decomposed
Release date: October 2020


01. Amputator
02. Zodiac
03. The Rotting
04. Death Will Follow
05. Migraine
06. The Noose
07. Blood Of The Zombie
08. Self Imposed Death Sentence
09. Dead Girls Don't Scream
10. Drink Blood Get High
11. Labyrinth Of Insanity
12. Without Your Life


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Sorry about that. Just thought I'd try to scare off any trespassers before the review begins. It is Halloween, after all… though the scariest thing of all is that Six Feet Under continues to have a career after 27 years of being the worst death metal band ever. In a way, I guess it's pretty brave (heroic, even) of Chris Barnes to forge ahead despite the fact that he has been dying of Mangled Throat Disease for the better part of three decades now. It's kind of inspiring to think that someone could be so dogged in the pursuit of their dreams that they could insulate themselves completely from all perceptions of how terrible they are at it, but Chris's voice is like a shattered limb or the right to vote: the more it gets exercised, the worse things get.

I've observed before that Six Feet Under would be a passable band - even good, on occasion - if they only had a different vocalist. Of the six albums I have reviewed thus far, Nightmares Of The Decomposed has got to be the most instrumentally competent; for the first time in the band's career, they are joined by another Cannibal Corpse alumnus, guitarist Jack Owen, who played on every album up through 2004's The Wretched Spawn. While I don't have hard confirmation of this fact (I just pulled this up on Spotify; I ain't buyin' it so I can read the liner notes), I strongly suspect that Owen had a hand in the songwriting. Nightmares Of The Decomposed clearly resembles earlier Cannibal Corpse material at times, with Owen's riffing style being particularly recognizable as the only part of the album that it kind of makes sense to record and release to the public. His work is the highlight of this experience, weird as it is that I can describe any part of a Six Feet Under album as being a "highlight" other than the end.

Some of these songs would be enjoyable if performed by any other band - I mean, they could reach a higher plane of quality even if they were performed by a malfunctioning wood chipper or a five-year-old playing with a blowtorch, but if you gave "Without Your Life" to Rigor Mortis, it would be a brick-crushing banger. "The Noose" is structured kind of like a hard rock song that really doesn't accommodate the death metal format all that well, but I'd love to hear what could be done with that riff if it were given to the actual Cannibal Corpse. I'll bet you that someone like Grand Magus or Cathedral could pull off a decent version of "Drink Blood Get High." There is a spark of creativity buried in this album, just waiting to be set free, and it's these unusually exciting moments of engaging writing and professional musicianship that have earned Nightmares Of The Decomposed the highest score I've ever awarded to a Six Feet Under album. But that's not all there is to this album, and I experienced a similar rude awakening with Crypt Of The Devil. All it takes is 28 seconds for "Amputator" to go from "Huh. Have they gotten better?" to "I was stupid… so stupid…"

Look, I just don't know how to keep telling you this, but Chris Barnes sucks. Listening to his voice, which is only about 50% actual growl at this point, is like being caressed by a gigantic, slimy sea creature. It's uncomfortable. It's wrong. Get out of my house and back to the John Carpenter movie you slithered out of. You want to know how to sing like Chris Barnes? Gargle some razor blades and then punch yourself in the throat until you're nearly dead. Incidentally, that's probably what you'll feel like doing after listening to this album. A small shadow eclipses my heart as I ponder what the rest of the band must have been feeling in the studio. Do you suppose they finished recording their tracks after weeks of grueling sessions, gathered around to share a toast to their efforts, and then watched in horror as Chris showed up to record his vocals? In my mind, I can see the smiles fade to grimaces and the celebratory beers crash to the ground in shock as Chris staggers into view, blissfully unaware that he is about to destroy the product of a whole band's blood, sweat, and tears. The current rhythm section - bassist Jeff Hughell and drummer Marco Pitruzzella - has experience with Brain Drill and Rings Of Saturn, among other bands. They're perfectly capable of shredding these songs to bits (in the positive sense, not the pejorative sense - that's what Chris does). It doesn't have to be this way.

As usual, though, the blame cannot be laid squarely at the feet of the vocals. As interesting as some of these songs are, much of the album relapses into Six Feet Under's less appetizing writing tropes: zero atmosphere, thoroughly unfelt, barebones riffs repeating ad infinitum with a verse-chorus-verse simplicity that not only detracts from the thrashy energy of the best songs but also fills the album with an oddly paced and half-written lethargy. The drums sound papery and the whole album has a very thin, distorted presence that might work for something grindy and up-tempo but does no favors for the thumb-twiddling emptiness that tracks like "The Rotting," "Zodiac," and "Blood Of The Zombie" encourage.

Well, I've already spent twice the length of a normal review explaining to you what should be obvious: the new Six Feet Under album is not worth listening to. This time, though, it's not even the worst thing they've ever done, so it's not as much fun to laugh about. It's just kind of pathetic and unnecessary, like my habit of reviewing their albums.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 5
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 4
Production: 6


 



Written on 31.10.2020 by I'm the reviewer, and that means my opinion is correct.


Comments

Comments: 15   Visited by: 148 users
31.10.2020 - 18:44
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Thats a pretty high grade for a 6FU album
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Father: How can a picture of a field be sad without a sad person looking sad in the field?
Young Woman: That's an interesting problem. Yeah, I struggle with that.
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31.10.2020 - 19:15
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Pretty Nice and long reading to say this band sucks
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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31.10.2020 - 19:25
thewall30
I feel like I'm the only one enjoying this release haha still been spinning this frequently, definitely a fan of that raw production.
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31.10.2020 - 20:39
Daniell
_爱情_
This album has the "best" growls ever.
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31.10.2020 - 21:44
nikarg
Mod
I decided to finally listen to it. The music is actually not bad, with another vocalist I'd give this album a 6 I think (if I was on a good day). The production could be better but I don't mind this "bare" sound. The vocals are horrendous though, they are bloody awful. Borat is way more talented in singing. The squealing especially is so ridiculous it hurts. The metaphors in the review about the vocals are spot on. This album cannot get more than 4 in my opinion because Barnes makes it unlistenable.

And that cover art. What an abomination.
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31.10.2020 - 21:55
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by thewall30 on 31.10.2020 at 19:25

I feel like I'm the only one enjoying this release haha still been spinning this frequently, definitely a fan of that raw production.

I hope you are
----
Father: How can a picture of a field be sad without a sad person looking sad in the field?
Young Woman: That's an interesting problem. Yeah, I struggle with that.
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01.11.2020 - 00:26
Coconut Racecar
Lmao, not surprised. This band hasn't been relevant since the 80's, and even that's a stretch.

Coming from someone whose favorite genre is slam/gore with notoriously atrocious vocals, I always thought this band had some of the worst vocals I've ever heard. Among other less than good qualities about the band.

No offense to anyone who enjoys them, you do you.
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01.11.2020 - 01:55
Porkchop II.
Written by RaduP on 31.10.2020 at 18:44

Thats a pretty high grade for a 6FU album

I'm surprised that Crypt got the lesser rating.
Oh well, a matter of taste.
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01.11.2020 - 03:31
tominator
At best deranged
To be fair I think: "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH" is the perfect way to describe how somebody would feel when listening to the vocals on this record.

Like jeez... I thought they were horrible on that Graveyard Classics album where Chris butchered some Iron Maiden and Judas Priest songs... But holy damn, he has outdone himself again with this release. Not only is it worse overall, he also decided that horrendous pig squeals were a good idea...

This record is average (at best) instrumentally and loses any redeeming qualities as soon as there are vocals audible. Somebody please cut the cord of Chris' mic.
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01.11.2020 - 11:20
Enemy of Reality
This album is like the worst Friday the 13th sequels
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01.11.2020 - 13:47
bleak
No one can say this band isn't consintent...
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01.11.2020 - 14:45
Karlabos
Weirdo of MS
I never got why ppl say Barnes' vocals are so bad. They're just... Average?
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2016 - 2017
2018 - 2019
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01.11.2020 - 23:22
thewall30
Written by Coconut Racecar on 01.11.2020 at 00:26

Lmao, not surprised. This band hasn't been relevant since the 80's, and even that's a stretch.

Coming from someone whose favorite genre is slam/gore with notoriously atrocious vocals, I always thought this band had some of the worst vocals I've ever heard. Among other less than good qualities about the band.

No offense to anyone who enjoys them, you do you.


No offence but this band wasn't even around in the 80s and I totally understand the flak this band gets.
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02.11.2020 - 13:54
The Melting Snow
I've never heard this band. I don't know why I read the review. I don't know why I'm commenting here. I didn't know such bad bands existed. they've put out like 15 albums in 25 years. They must be doing something right
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03.11.2020 - 10:52
TenebrisAlas
Really sorry for them...i still give Haunted a spin or two once a year i think they are really six feet under now, literally and methaphorically as well.
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