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(42 min, Metal Blade)
TRACK LIST: 1. Hells Bells 5:13 2. Shoot to Thrill 5:20 3. What Do You Do for Money Honey 3:38 4. Giving the Dog a Bone 3:35 5. Let Me Put My Love into You 4:17 6. Back in Black 4:26 7. You Shook Me All Night Long 3:33 8. Have a Drink on Me 4:00 9. Shake a Leg 4:06 10. Rock & Roll Ain't Noise Pollution 4:19 All tracks: by A Young, M Young & B Johnson. Produced by C Barnes. Engineered by C Carroll. LINEUP: Chris Barnes - vocals Steve Swanson - guitars Greg Gall - drums Terry Butler - bass
Prolusion. The US band SIX FEET UNDER (SFU hereinafter) has been around for no less than ten years. "Graveyard Classics 2" is their ninth output, and if you are interested to know their complete discography, please click a link to the band's website below the review.
Analysis. Hard Rock with Death Metal-related vocals, presented on this album, is quite accessible, to say the least, and yet, I am somewhat in the cart to describe it, because the music is nothing else but a cover version of the legendary "Back in Black" by AC/DC, just in its entirety. I remember the original from memory, so I think I perceive this rendering in a different way than a young lover of Death Metal, to whom it is certainly destined above all. Well, SFU did their job more than merely scrupulously, having reproduced probably all the instrumental nuances available on the original. There are no variations on the given themes, and even guitar solos remain unchanged, at least overall. Surely, the vocals are just Chris Barnes, displaying exact antithesis to Brian Johnson's falsetto, strung-up, dynamic and explosive. On the one hand, so careful attitude towards the style's distant ancestry is commendable. On the other hand, the guys should have not forgotten that, unlike the traditional singing, death-ish growling isn't able to provide any melodic variations. In the absolute majority of cases, it's maniacally monotonous, reproducing only some specific emotions. The most resourceful musical 'extremists' try to maximally satiate their instrumental arrangements with expressive melodies and effectual timbre contrasts. In this respect, I believe it would've been helpful to add many additional (herein: newly composed) guitar and bass solos to those, say, primordially available, which would have certainly enriched the overall picture. Just as it is on the original, the opening track, Hells Bells, remains the best here too, at least in my view.
Conclusion. I am not certain if I can put here anything else but the teenagers' fashionable "cool". So, it's rather cool, but that's all, nothing more.
VM: February 24, 2004
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