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SFU 06/18/12 Event Review 

Six Feet Under w/
It's Always Sunny In Tijuana, Scalafrea, Kill Syndicate, Revocation. Gothic Theatre 06/18/12

The best thing about underground death metal fans is this: we aren't just fans, we are fanatics. This was obvious walking into Denver's Gothic Theatre on June 18th, a Monday night that was packed like a Friday. Hundreds of people of all ages showed up for what was definitely the the biggest show for the death metal scene this month, Six Feet Under. Not only were we getting Chris Barnes and the crew, but also some of the heaviest bands in Denver, all in the same show. Opening for SFU were It's Always Sunny In Tijuana, Scalafrea, Kill Syndicate and Revocation. Also on the tour called "18 Nights Of Blood" was Dying Fetus, but they were not scheduled to play in Colorado, which was a total bummer, as they are one of my favorite bands from back in the day.

The moment Six Feet Under took stage the whole place went crazy, as they started their set with "No warning shot". Even I was amazed at the amount of people young and old who knew the lyrics to the song. Between songs Chris laughed and shouted to the crowd "I might be a little greyer, but that just means I might have fucked your mother." Fucking priceless. With Six Feet Under back and brutal as ever, the entire band looked phenomenal, they definitely had their shit together and seemed to love playing for Denver fans.
Throughout the set we heard kick ass songs off of almost all of their albums, including "The day the dead walked", "Revenge of the zombie" and "Victim of the paranoid".
After hearing live songs from their newest album "Undead", SFU has only proved again that their place in the death metal scene is as solid as ever, and they aren't fucking around. The night looked to be over as the members of the band filed off the stage, leaving me pretty satisfied, but a little disappointed that I didn't get to see them play my favorite song. But then...
They came back up after the cheers and shouts for more, and fucking did it. They ended the show with (surprisingly) my favorite Cannibal Corpse song, and when I say favorite I mean I obsessed over this song for years. "Stripped, raped and strangled". No one can own this song like Chris Barnes does. Just sayin'.

Keep your horns up high,
-Nikki Battlescar

06/18/12

           

Six Feet Under


Death metal behemoths Six Feet Under are back, and with the seething Undead, the ninth full-length of their imposing career, they are out for blood. Led by the inimitable Chris Barnes, owner of one of the most powerful and instantly recognizable voices in the genre, the band are returning with an overhauled line up that sees them reinvigorated and churning out some of the most visceral music they have ever put their name to. "I'm in pretty much the best headspace I've been in since myself and (former guitarist) Allen West started this band in 1993," Barnes enthuses. "I'm super excited about the new record. It's a rejuvenation, it's a rebirth of Six Feet Under, and fans will definitely latch on to my excitement and how focused I am in the lyrics I've written."

Having begun as a side project while Barnes was fronting Cannibal Corpse, the band became a full-fledged and unstoppable entity in 1995, and over the course of their career they have consistently helped shape the face of death metal through their uncompromising approach to their craft. That Undead is the most aggressive, in your face, and downright horrifying record of their career is testament to the passion and dedication the quintet poured into it. From the abrasive blasting brutality of "Formaldehyde" to the apocalyptic thunder of "18 Days" or the vicious "Frozen at The Moment Of Death", one of the greatest anti-anthems to emerge under the Six Feet Under banner, it's a rollercoaster of violence that boasts a potency and freshness that impressively eclipses their last few releases. Barnes attributes much of this to the work of new guitarist Rob Arnold (ex- Chimaira), who greatly contributed to the writing of the record. "Rob brings a fresh outlook to the themes of Six Feet Under. He has a vast knowledge of what I've done, and he has a clear vision and great skill for writing memorable riffs. Being around him and the music he was creating was really inspiring to me, and it really pushed me to write the best lyrics I could," he asserts. Joining Barnes and Arnold on Undead are longtime guitarist Steve Swanson, new bassist Jeff Hughell, and drummer Kevin Talley, whose history blasting for Dying Fetus, Misery Index, and Chimaira speaks for itself. "What can you say man? The guy is an incredible talent, and he brings power to the band," Barnes states. "He holds the beat and plays harder and louder and faster than any drummer I've ever been in a band with. The guy punches holes in the bottoms of drums, that's how hard he hits!" The ferocity that Talley brings to the fore is an integral part of Undead's phenomenal impact, and long time fans will undoubtedly be excited to know the band have also upped the horsepower this time out. "We've gone from pushing 4000rpms to redlining and pushing 7500rpms, but as always all the songs I've written seem to take on their own personality and have a different feel under them. That is an important facet of what this band is, and Rob definitely captures the Six Feet Under feel through all the songs while always coming up with something that really grabs you by the throat and refuses to let go."

Lyrically, Barnes revisits themes that will be familiar to fans of the band, though as always he brings something new to the table, aware that their followers will not accept recycled ideas. "Murder, death, life, the supernatural, it's all in there. The hypocrisies of daily life, things that affect us that spawn aggression, loneliness, sadness, there's a lot of emotions going on across the record, and I guess that the dark horror that humans cause is my niche." However, while Barnes has a very clear vision for his craft, he is always excited by the interpretations of his songs by those who listen to them, feeding on the emotional investment they put in. "I love it when people tell me what they've got from the music and the lyrics. It's like being an artist, you put the painting up on the wall – you know what it is, but sometimes it's a little abstract and someone sees something else in it, and that's the biggest compliment to me. That I'm able to get inside someone's head and they actually give thought to something presented to them is inspiring to me too, and something I always want to be able to do with this band."

With Barnes self-producing 2008's crushing Death Rituals, this time around the band entrusted production duties to Mark Lewis (Deicide, Devildriver) and the mixing stage of the record to Jason Suecof (Whitechapel, Job For A Cowboy), a decision that has greatly paid off. Not only does the record wield an armor-plated edge and the kind of kick that leaves holes in concrete, the process itself was seamless, allowing the band to concentrate on giving their best every day. "Creating an album is a lot of work and a lot of focus, but we didn't really have too many hiccups in the recording. It went really smooth, and it was pretty much the most effortless album we've ever tracked. I had a great, great time working on this album, it was so much fun because everything seemed so new again."

Armed with these tracks, the quintet are hungry for the road, and will be once more unleashing their horrific wares on fans worldwide, demonstrating their vitality and determination to audiences who will undoubtedly be baying for more. "We want to get out there and pretty much destroy. We want to play to as many people as possible, and show all of the fans out there the new songs, and leave nothing but a trail of blood in our wake," Barnes states plainly. "We're hoping that whoever makes body bags are upping their output, because after this record comes out there'll be a lot of decomposing bodies out there!"

Bio by Dan Slessor
In conjunction with the release of Undead, SIX FEET UNDER will embark upon a near three-week run of live rituals this June. Dubbed the 18 Nights Of Blood Tour, the beatings will begin in Atlanta, Georgia on June 8 and ravage its way across the country before coming to a close on June 29 in Tampa, Florida. Support will be provided by Dying Fetus and Revocation.




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