After the release of 2016’s Graveyard Classics IV: The Number of the Priest (reviewed by Mosh last year), we see Six Feet Under return in 2017 with their latest opus, entitled Torment. From previous releases we have seen the band experiment with their sound and have grown with it to produce new-age classics that are sure to be remembered among new and old fans alike. But what can we expect from Torment? Will it be as vicious as Crypt of the Devil or will Torment live by its name and bring a new addition to the band’s ever-growing catalogue of extreme brutality?
Opening the record, we have the first track entitled “Sacrificial Kill”. From the start of the song we are given a mix of heavy, raw and aggressive grooves. From this we see that we are about to experience something ready to grab you by the ankle and pull you deeper into the madness which already awaits us. From previous Six Feet Under records there has been a tradition, it seems, for the first song to surprise fans in various ways.
Whether it starts fast or slow is far from the point, though here it’s to give new fans a taste of something ravenous and that is exactly what “Sacrificial Kill” presents to us. The riffs displayed through this track are technical but also present a very ominous vibe when mixed with the intensity of the bass that this song has to offer. Not only that but by the time we reach the middle of this already raw and violent piece of music, we are brought to a storm of fast and flesh-ripping riffs that tear and shred through the mentality of the listener.
We move on to the record’s second track, entitled “Exploratory Homicide”. Starting with a fast and very technical force of drum beats and bass riffs, we see the band take everything into high gear. Though the song is not as long as “Sacrificial Kill”, the track itself makes a heavy mark on the listener by bringing the band’s signature speed to new limits. This shows us, the fans, that Six Feet Under are still in form to create masterpieces of gore and brutality that stand out among most bands.
Though it can be said that Chris Barnes’ vocals have maintained themselves over the years and have in many ways grown into an iconic style of growling that to this day stands as the level for most musicians. “Exploratory Homicide” brings an old school vibe into the record as well as showing that there are still some very horrific ideas yet to be unleashed from this band.
This is a record that offers a lot for fans of new and modern death metal as we see Six Feet Under experiment with some very technical ideas as well as some old ideas that we have seen through some of the band’s previous releases. One of the main things which stands out the most about this record has to be the way it has been mixed. The album presents a mix which helps to bring out the vocals and the bass in a certain way; if there was any word to help describe this it would have to be that the mix makes the band’s tone “pop” in a very specific way.
Torment presents some new-age classics which already show their aggressive tendencies in the best way with such titles as “Slaughtered As They Slept” and “Obsidian”. Both tracks from the start nail a right hook to the face with a powerful force of violent tension ready to be unleashed. These two songs give us the best of this record in terms of speed and raw force. This aside, both tracks equally give fans what they want out of a Six Feet Under record; gritty, technical, old school death metal at its very best.
“Obsidian”, though, is the one track on this record which makes it’s stand as it holds a slow but very crushing groove, working through the body like a contagious disease ready to be unleashed unto the world.
Torment is the band’s twelfth album and one for the ages; bringing classic ideas and new age technicality. Six Feet Under still remain one of death metal’s elite forces as well as a band that will continue to grow. If Torment has taught us anything it is that there is always something ready to be released and with Chris Barnes still leading the charge, the future of this music is certainly in safe hands.
Torment is released on 24th February