I really get into Death Metal and have my core favorite, Death Metal bands. Six Feet Under is one of my core Death Metal bands of mine. When I listen to Death Metal, it’s like I’m getting back to my Metal basics… there’s no fooling around with this genre, just extreme vocals and groove infested, thunder splitting – Metal. Chris Barnes, with his ultra legendary, Death Metal growling vocals, is at his finest on Graveyard Classics III. This album marks the third installment of the Graveyard Classics series of cover song albums from Six Feet Under. Six Feet Under not only groove along at an impressively addicting pace, this album is damn F’n fun too. Yes, it is fun to hear Chris Barnes belt out his original and extreme vocals to ten amazingly historical Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Black Metal and Punk Rock songs.
One of the many reasons to admire Six Feet Under and their Graveyard Classics series, is their allegiance and recognition to so many historical and great bands from Rock Music’s past. It’s all about roots with these cover songs… and Six Feet Under covers them with Death Metal brilliance. My two favorite cover songs on Graveyard Classics III are: Destroyer by Twisted Sister and Not Fragile by Bachman Turner Overdrive. Six Feet Under plays Destroyer like they are going to take over the world… and implement a Death Metal master plan. Not Fragile showcases the guitar mastery of Steve Swanson, he really steals the Death Metal show on this song.
As I listen to Chris Barnes sing these two songs, I cannot help but not recognize that he is a fan of these bands he covers so well. Influence is a powerful word and bands like Slayer literally explode with it for so many musicians… Six Feet Under attests to this by covering At Dawn They Sleep. Six Feet Under may never be able to capture the Thrash Metal fire and intensity that only Slayer can deliver with At Dawn They Sleep, still, hearing such a fantastic Death Metal version of this classic is a thrill for me. The Frayed Ends Of Sanity is such a monumental choice for Six Feet Under to undertake as well, Metallica being the iconic Thrash Metal Band they are only drives home the reverence Chris Barnes upholds for Metal history. Oh, yeah, Six Feet Under plays this Metallica classic quite deadly well too.
What would a 2010 Death Metal cover song album, from Six Feet Under, be without an Anvil song? Metal On Metal only solidifies the fact that Anvil is as important a band to the history of Metal as any. Chris Barnes may not ever take over the vocal helm for Anvil’s Lips, regardless, he employs his very own grunt and growl trademark to a fabulous cover version. Just when you think Graveyard Classics III has all the historic Metal firepower to cover, A Dangerous Meeting by the unreal legendary Mercyful Fate is on this album too. A tough song to sing no matter who you are… Chris Barnes takes this song on and laces it with Death Metal vocal glorification. Psychotherapy by the Ramones and Snap Your Fingers Snap Your Neck by Prong are the fun moments for me on this album… two songs that probably no one ever would consider Death Metal material years ago. On Fire by Van Halen and Pounding Metal by (the blue collar) Thrash Metal vets Exciter, round out the ten Death Metal cover songs on Graveyard Classics III.
To say that Terry Butler on bass and Greg Gall on drums are very good is a Death Metal understatement… they are both excellent… the proof is in the songs. Six Feet Under has established their Death Metal legacy years ago, they are now just compounding this legacy, with an album of deliriously deadly cover songs called Graveyard Classics III. This is one damn fine listen – in Death Groove.
* Graveyard Classics III was released on January 19, 2010, on Metal Blade Records.
* Album Cover Art By: Dusty Peterson – Unreal great stuff… now thats Metal. Death Metal.