Chris Barnes is a legend in American death metal.  His contributions from the early Cannibal Corpse days set a precedent and raised the bar for bands worldwide.

Six Feet Under started as a side project for Barnes back in the day, and then it became his full time project after leaving Cannibal Corpse.  It is more of a solo project for him with a revolving door of members these days, and he has recently recruited Brain Drill members Jeff Hughell and Marco Pitruzzella to write and record Torment.  Although you can hear subtle differences here, it closely resembles the last few original Six Feet Under albums.  I say original, because I cannot include the horrid Graveyard Classics cover albums he’s also released.

I will admit I don’t hate Torment, and there are some decent songs here. “Sacrificial Kill” has a cool groove.  It’s a slow brooder, which allows the heaviness to crush the listener. “Knife Through Skull” follows similar suit, and “Obsidian” is the shining star here. It’s heavy, dark, and the riff is vicious. Barnes vocals are a struggle for me on most of the other songs.  It seems he holds the band back and he does sing out of time.  It seems like the older he gets, the more common this occurrence.  I really wanted Torment to be different, to be a return to form, but I just don’t feel it.  It just sounds the same as the last three albums they’ve released.

Torment is out February 24 on Metal Blade Records. Pre-order it here!


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