Unleashing True Carnage
Six Feet Under and Obscenity play the Camden Underworld, London, 7 July 2003
by: Jackie Smit
The Chris Barnes-led death metal juggernaut that is Six Feet Under is an entity that is equally worshipped and reviled in extreme circles. At the same time, very few of their detractors have managed to fault their live show -- which makes the prospect of seeing them in the intimate surroundings of the Underworld a very attractive one indeed.

First things first though: Germany's Obscenity take to the stage to a huge ovation and immediately kick off with a track off their latest _Cold Blooded Murder_ opus. Despite their best efforts though, a snafu on the part of the soundman results in the drum and vocal levels virtually completely overpowering the thrash/death riffage of tracks like "Bleed for Me". Much to their credit however, they make the best the out of difficult situation and come up trumps -- the crowd even baying for more when the Germans head backstage.

In stark contrast, Six Feet Under sound just about perfect and deliver the goods many times over with a menacingly intense performance. Curiously drawing heavily from their much-criticised _Haunted_ debut, they ignite proceedings with "Silent Violence", before driving the pit into a frenzy with "The Day the Dead Walked", "Suffering in Ecstasy", "No Warning Shot" and "Nonexistence". Chris Barnes' vocal performance is quite honestly awe-inspiring: audible, very deep and devoid of some of the more eccentric absurdities that have confounded detractors and fans alike in the past -- several examples of which can be found on their last _True Carnage_ record. Similarly, Barnes' undeniable stage presence and charisma is the fuel for much of the madness that takes place on the floor tonight, his generally pissed-off attitude making the songs seem even more intense.

As an added bonus we're treated to two numbers off the forthcoming _Bringer of Blood_ effort, and although it's a little hard to judge properly, they do sound very promising. The title track is aired first: a curious blend of almost Red Harvest-like atmospherics and _Warpath_-era SFU, while "America the Brutal" is a punked-up beast of a song that wouldn't sound out of place on Six Feet Under's arguably strongest collection to date, _Maximum Violence_. Either way, both serve to aptly whet my appetite for the release of the record when it hits stores in September.

Closing with "Victim of the Paranoid" and "Beneath a Black Sky", Six Feet Under go some way toward proving that they are easily one of death metal's most exciting and enjoyable live acts -- which is something the genre needs a lot more of at the moment.

(article submitted 20/7/2003)

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