Six Feet Under – “Graveyard Classics IV: The Number of the Priest” (Metal Blade Records)
Almost as famed as their own material, SFU’s ‘Graveyard Classics’ series have always been hit to both band and fans alike! Continuing on with his relationship with Cannabis Corpse, who now make up the latest SFU line up, “Graveyard Classics IV…” as taken from the title is the latest installment covering tracks by Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. With Josh Hall (drums) and Ray Suhy (all guitars), death metal icon Chris Barnes puts his twisted take on classics like ‘Prowler’, complete with raw guitar sound as it was in its original NWOBHM format, but now with added double bass drumming in its speedier parts. ‘Murders In The Rue Morgue’ is still pretty close to the “Killers” version, except for Barnes legendary guttural growls giving it a much more primeval tone of course, and now also with a slight death metal groove added. On the Priest side ‘Genocide’ is a similar story with the music not straying too far from Halford & co, but Barnes weirded out ‘vocals’ (if you could ever call them that) giving it a whole new perverse sound. Any other band and I’d probably just shake my head in dismay, but the musical possession by Barnes is to be awed, and in his hands “Graveyard Classics…” is exactly what it sez it is.