Killing For Revenge

Metal Blade
rating icon 8 / 10

Track listing:

01. Know-Nothing Ingrate
02. Accomplice To Evil Deeds
03. Ascension
04. When The Moon Goes Down In Blood
05. Hostility Against Mankind
06. Compulsive
07. Fit Of Carnage
08. Neanderthal
09. Judgement Day
10. Bestial Savagery
11. Mass Casualty Murdercide
12. Spoils Of War
13. Hair Of The Dog

Death metal's scary, weird uncle is back again. SIX FEET UNDER have been a resolute force for heaviness and horror for over 30 years now, and despite all the lineup changes that have threatened to pull the band into the grave, frontman Chris Barnes (ex-CANNIBAL CORPSE, as if you didn't know!) has kept the bloody ball rolling with a zealot's fiery commitment. A few patchy albums aside, the SIX FEET UNDER catalogue is looking increasingly formidable, particularly since the partial reset of 2012's "Undead". Everything Barnes's bruisers have done since has impacted with the same ferocity that informed their finest moments, from early benchmarks "Warpath" (1997) and "Maximum Violence" (1999),to the curiously underrated "Crypt Of The Devil" (2015). Most importantly, the addition of former CANNIBAL CORPSE and DEICIDE guitarist Jack Owen to the SIX FEET UNDER lineup seems to have had a profound effect on their collective efficacy, as showcased on 2020's "Nightmares of the Decomposed".

Now sounding more like a lethal and harmonious unit than they have for decades, they are plainly and undeniably back peak, murderous form. "Killing for Revenge" makes no attempts to tinker with its predecessor's formula. Instead, this is another thoroughly gruesome and punishing 40-minute dose of prime Barnes barbarism.

In keeping with the great man's tendency to be a cantankerous bastard, the opening "Know-Nothing Ingrate" is a song about idiots on the internet. He obviously has a point (the upshot seems to be: fuck off, idiots!) and the song absolutely rips. Idiots probably won't like it, but we are where we are.

Thereafter, "Killing For Revenge" blazes an offal-strewn trail through vandalized graveyards, ghostly hospital wards and acres of repulsive, bubbling mire, with no broader remit than to smash the fuck out of everything and leave permanent, knotty scars. Songs like "Accomplice to Evil Deeds" and "Ascension" stay true to SIX FEET UNDER's original sound, but with the spine-snapping punch of a crisp, slightly mechanistic production. Neither purposefully old school, nor in any way polluted by modern DM's widespread, identikit sonics, this is scab-encrusted brutality with Barnes's wildman spirit etched into its cheeks with a razor.

Throughout, Owen and co-guitarist Ray Suhy (GEMATRIA/ex-CANNABIS CORPSE) serve up a relentless flesh-avalanche of riffs, demonstrating remarkable chemistry and a shared desire to violently subvert as many cliches as possible. Lobotomized and foul on the concrete stomp of "Hostility Against Mankind", mad-eyed and raging on the hysterical savaging of "Fit of Carnage", and avowedly punk-as-fuck on the dementedly catchy "Spoils of War", "Killing for Revenge" is a riot. A closing cover of NAZARETH's "Hair of the Dog" is a nice, goofy bonus too.

This is what people want from Chris Barnes, isn't it? And they're going to get it. In the neck.

Author: d
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