Six Feet Under have been around for about a decade, and I must admit I was never introduced to them. It really is a pity, as after the opening section of “Feasting on the Blood of the Insane” the band really drives home a beat that shifts at certain times to something that has to provoke one of the most intense circle pits ever. The unity of the drums and guitar on this track is something more than two individuals playing together but rather a unity that does not falter or separate as the track continues.
There are not the over-indulgent forays into progressive metal in Six Feet Under’s music; rather, something that can only be tagged as “metal” (no thrash, death, black adjectives necessary) is the first and only course that the band serves up here. Tracks do not extend into the unbearable 5-10 minute range but rather do what they have decided to do and end without the band making a parody of themselves. When repetition is used (in the guitar riffs, mainly), it is only to increase the intensity of the track. With these short runtimes, the band is not able to really give themselves a black eye by trying to go back to the same well one too many times. However impressive the band was in the first few tracks on the disc, Six Feet Under really reach another plateau with their “Revenge of the Zombie”, which pushes the envelope in terms of speed without either the drums or guitars turning into an amorphous mush, unlike so many other bands (Cannibal Corpse, I’m looking at you here). Six Feet Under show that they are not only speed-merchants; the slower (but only in comparison to their other tracks) “Drowning” really replaces the break-neck speed of “Victim of the Paranoid” with a sludgy set of arrangements that really get listeners’ bowels churning.
“Lycanthropy” mixes the technical drumming of “Resurrection”-era Fear Factory with their own homebrew of hoarse vocals and scaled guitar riffs to enforce a sort of rigidity that disallows any sloppiness on the track. While many of the multi-disc box sets are essentially studio tracks plus a few shiny things, this five-disc set really brings forth some early demos and live tracks, along with the essential hits of the act. This results in a purchase that is well worth whatever Metal Blade may charge for it.
Top Tracks: Lycanthropy, Victim of the Paranoid