REVIEW: SIX FEET UNDER – “Torment”
Six Feet Under is known for putting out a lot of music in a short space of time. Lately, there have been a few major lineup changes and you can immediately notice there is something different about this record. The way it bites, the grooves, all are still reminiscent of the older Six Feet Under sound, but ‘Torment’ has a more complex feel to it. All the guitar and bass tracks were written by Jeff Hughell, and the drums performed in one take by Marco Pitruzzella. Both of these guys are absolute monsters on their respective instruments and it shows on the record.
“Sacraficial Kill” kicks things off with an aggressive down beat, growling attack, that really sets the pace for the album. It builds into a faster, blasting riff that continues to assault the senses before falling back into the same measured attack but with some crazy bass tapping in the back just to throw you off. “Exploratory Homicide” starts off with some epic bass work, which is Jeff’s specialty. You can’t have multiple seven string basses if you don’t play them like an absolute lunatic, so it only makes sense to me anyway. The bass tapping all over this album is pretty insane and makes it way more unique than any other Six Feet Under record thus far, just on style points alone. ‘
“Schizomaniac” is another awesome track that makes you scratch your head when you think about the fact that Jeff and Marco, those two guys recorded all the instruments. With all the weird time changes and odd patterns, it’s pretty hard to wrap your head around Marco plowing through the track in one take, but he’s been doing it for so long it would almost be weird if he didn’t. The way the track bounces around before dropping into a nice groove makes me think it’ll be perfect for live settings as well. I think that one of the best aspects of this record is the grooves and slower parts that will translate well to a live setting. Especially with the extra present over-driven bass, adding a lot of weight to the mix, I imagine that a lot of the slower tempo tracks, like “Knife Through the Skull” will really move crowds when the band goes on tour later this year, With songs like “Slaughtered While They Slept”, you can see a conscientious effort in transitioning the album from the slower groovy tracks to faster paced, more brutal work. It’s still catchy, but very calculated, which honestly is probably the best thing to happen to Six Feet Under in years.
“Obsidian” is another track that jumps out and grabs you with a nasty groove in the intro. It bounces back and forth from quick to slower groove, and not once will your head stop nodding. Between that and “Bloody Underwear” those are definitely the hidden gems at the end of the rainbow that is ‘Torment’. I’ve never heard the words “bloody underwear” screamed at me before; and I’m pretty sure they were the only two I could actually discern off the album on the first listen, but I got a good laugh out of it. One thing that never really made a huge impression on me in any way is the vocals. They’re the exact same thing we’ve heard on every Six Feet Under record to date; slow, almost painful sounding growls that just kinda fit on top of the rest of the music. To me it feels like the tracks were almost tailor fit for Chris Barnes’ vocal style and delivery courtesy of Jeff. Of course, when you have someone like Jeff doing exactly that, you’re still going to get a bad ass record that sounds phenomenal, you’ll just have to occasionally deal with weird music nerds like myself pointing it out.
‘Torment’ has more complexity and there are different things to listen to. It doesn’t get stale and boring. With Jeff’s crazy bass playing adding a completely new element and Marco’s monstrous drumming adding a rock solid back bone, there really is no going wrong here. I think this album will work really well live and audiences all across the world should be buzzing in anticipation for this record.