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'Crypt Of The Devil'
(Metal Blade Records)

jools green

Jools Green

six feet under

Tampa, Florida's death Metal denizens Six Feet Under were originally a side project started by vocalist/lyricist Chris Barnes along with Allen West (ex: Obituary). Now, twenty-two years down the road, Chris is releasing their fourteenth studio full length, 'Crypt Of The Devil'.

Chris has once again gone for a fresh line-up for this latest offering and it did fill me with a small degree of apprehension as you never know what to expect when a line-up changes. There were several very successful changes on the previous two releases, 'Undead' and 'Unborn', and it was obvious on my first listen to 'Crypt Of The Devil' that my concerns were totally unfounded about any changes for this release.

There is a harder edge in places to the sound but the "death groove" remains. Chris still manages to cause an earthquake with his vocals and on this release he is joined by the fresh talents of guest musicians Phil Hall covering rhythm and bass guitars, Brandon Ellis on lead guitar and Josh Hall on drums, here, the big bonus being, the Hall brothers are long time 'Six Feet Under 'fans and instinctively know what is required and expected.

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'Crypt Of The Devil' is ten tracks and thirty seven minutes of death 'n' roll groove Metal, a good listen containing some great moments. The stand out tracks for me are 'Gruesome', which has great sounding and quite complex riff patterns along with superb second half guitar work.

'Open Coffin Orgy' with its superb chugging riffs to open, which repeatedly return to form the backbone of the track, dropping to slow sinister depths at the arrival of the vocals, a well varied track with the tempo escalating in the second half before a solo from Brandon, ending on a sinister tail off, lyrically its simple yet effective in its content and Chris has pitched it well here.

'Break The Cross In Half' has a superb slow and sinister groove to open, building to a frenzied pace, great tempo switching and superb guitar work throughout the whole of the track while 'Lost Remains' and 'Slit Wrists' also both contain superb second half solos form Brandon which caught my attention.

six feet under

'Stab' makes an exciting listen because of its mix of faster tempo and the crazy riffing; there is a great, brief, sinister drop just after midway and a superbly manic solo.

The album high point for me is 'The Night Bleeds'. It has an addictive repeat groove to the backbone of the track that also has classic death feel, garnished with superb leads before the arrival of the vocals, then a complete direction and tempo change midway but with the chugging groove returning again towards the close.

Final track, 'Eternal Darkness', has a superb haunting edge to the groove and leads which sits so well with the dirty edged riffs and has superb first half solo.

'Crypt Of The Devil' is not the best Six Feet Under release but it is still a good one and well worth a good few listens. It's certainly going to get it from me.

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