Six Feet Under (band)

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Six Feet Under
Six Feet Under at Hatefest (Martin Rulsch) 26.jpg
Background information
OriginTampa, Florida, U.S.
Years active1993–present
LabelsMetal Blade
Associated acts
Past members
Chris Barnes, 2015

Six Feet Under is an American death metal band from Tampa, Florida, United States, formed in 1993. The band consists of five members: founding vocalist Chris Barnes, guitarists Ray Suhy and Jack Owen, bassist Jeff Hughell and drummer Marco Pitruzzella. It was originally a side project formed by Barnes with guitarist Allen West of Obituary, but became a full-time commitment after Barnes was dismissed from Cannibal Corpse in 1995. They have released twelve albums, and are listed by Nielsen Soundscan as the fourth best-selling death metal act in the U.S.[1]


Formation, Haunted, and Warpath (1993–1997)[edit]

After Barnes and West joined forces, they recruited Terry Butler, who knew West from his involvement with Massacre, and Greg Gall, Terry Butler's brother-in-law. Six Feet Under first played in 1993 at clubs, performing mostly cover songs. The band began writing original material in the middle of 1994. Because Barnes was already signed to Metal Blade Records with Cannibal Corpse, Six Feet Under signed to this label.

Their first album, Haunted, was released on September 1, 1995. Haunted was produced by Brian Slagel (who discovered Slayer) and Scott Burns (record producer) (who discovered Sepultura and worked with Napalm Death, and Deicide, among others). By this point Chris Barnes had made Six Feet Under his main priority. In 1996, in the process of recording the album Vile, he parted ways with Cannibal Corpse.

Six Feet Under's next release was the Alive and Dead EP on October 29, 1996. A dual studio/live EP, it contains three studio recordings ("Insect", "Drowning", and a Judas Priest cover, "Grinder") and four tracks from Haunted performed live. The band released their second studio album, Warpath, on September 9, 1997.

Maximum Violence and Graveyard Classics (1998–2000)[edit]

In 1998, Allen West left to rejoin Obituary and was replaced by Steve Swanson. This is the only line-up change that the band had until January 2011. Combined with Barnes' departure from Cannibal Corpse, the arrival of Swanson helped turn Six Feet Under from a mere side-project to a band in its own right.[2]

July 13, 1999, saw the release of Six Feet Under's third studio album, Maximum Violence. As the name of the album suggests, the lyrics on this release are much more violent than on past releases. The band also recorded a death-metal retooling of the Kiss song "War Machine".

Maximum Violence had sold over 100,000 copies worldwide,[citation needed] a status that hadn't been reached for a while for a death metal band during the late '90s when death metal saw a decline in popularity. It led to some unexpected promotional events for the band. During the summer of 2000, Six Feet Under participated in the Vans Warped Tour, a festival that, at the time, usually featured punk rock bands.[3]

Further pursuing their interest in cover songs, Six Feet Under released an album entirely of covers, Graveyard Classics, on October 24, 2000. The songs were given death metal makeovers in regards to the timbre of the vocals and instruments, but the original riffs and rhythms of the songs were left intact. Songs include Black Sabbath's "Sweet Leaf", Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water", and Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze".

True Carnage and Bringer of Blood (2001–2003)[edit]

The group's fourth studio album, True Carnage (August 7, 2001), was also their first recording to feature guest artists: Ice-T raps while Barnes roars on "One Bullet Left", and Karyn Crisis joins Barnes for "Sick and Twisted". True Carnage peaked on the Billboard Heatseeker's charts at number 18.[4]

Six Feet Under undertook a lengthy bout of American tours, commencing in the summer of 2002, with supporters Skinless and Sworn Enemy. Their June 14 performance was recorded for a DVD and live album release, Double Dead Redux. September 2002 saw the band touring with Hatebreed. Around Christmas 2002, they participated in some European festivals with bands such as Kataklysm and Dying Fetus.[5]

The band next released Bringer of Blood, on September 23, 2003. In addition to his trademark guttural vocals, Barnes also began using higher pitched pig squeal vocals on this release.

Graveyard Classics 2, 13, and A Decade in the Grave (2004–2006)[edit]

Graveyard Classics 2 came out on October 19, 2004. This cover album focused solely on the 1980 AC/DC album Back in Black. AllMusic reviewer Wade Kergan remarked that the death metal-makeover on these forefather songs "are equal parts menace and kitsch... Six Feet Under are obviously having a blast as they rip through them."[6]

Six Feet Under released their sixth studio album on March 21, 2005, entitled 13. While writing the lyrics, Chris Barnes reportedly entered "a vision" from smoking large quantities of marijuana and meditating.[7]

Metal Blade Records issued A Decade in the Grave on October 28, 2005, a five-disc box set. The first two discs are 'best-of' material, the third is a rarities collection, the fourth disc is from one of the band's first concerts back in 1995, and the final disc is a live DVD from 2005.

In November 2005, Chris Barnes joined the Finnish death metal band Torture Killer as lead vocalist for a side project. His new bandmates saw this as a huge compliment, having started out as a Six Feet Under and Obituary cover band. Barnes sung vocals on their 2006 studio album Swarm!

Commandment, Death Rituals, and Graveyard Classics 3 (2007–2010)[edit]

Six Feet Under toured for the majority of 2006 before hitting the studios to record their next album, Commandment, which was released on April 17, 2007. The album works within the band's formula. According to music critic Chad Bowar, the album has "catchy death metal songs... [that are] crushingly heavy, but also have a great groove to them."[8]

Six Feet Under played Metalfest 2007 tour alongside openers Finntroll, Belphegor, and Nile, their most heavily promoted tour to date. A music video for "Doomsday" aired on MTV2's Headbangers Ball, starting on November 10 of that year.

On December 24, 2007, Six Feet Under announced on their website that they would go to the studio in early 2008 to record a new album.[9] The album, titled Death Rituals, was released on Metal Blade Records on November 11, 2008 in the US, and November 17, 2008 in the UK.

As announced on January 31, 2008 Chris Barnes officially parted ways with Torture Killer, to be replaced by Juri Sallinen. Drummer Greg Gall is currently writing and recording material with a new band called Exitsect, along with guitarist Sam Williams (Denial Fiend, Down by Law), bassist Frank Watkins (Obituary, Gorgoroth), guitarist Joe Kiser (Murder-Suicide Pact, Slap Of Reality) and vocalist Paul Pavlovich (Assück).[10][11]

Graveyard Classics 3 was released on January 19, 2010.[12]

Undead, and Unborn (2011–2013)[edit]

In early 2011, Terry Butler left to join fellow death metal band Obituary. Drummer Greg Gall had also left.

In November 2011, Rob Arnold and Matt Devries posted statements saying they have departed from Chimaira to play in Six Feet Under full-time. However, in 2012, Matt Devries left the band to join Fear Factory, replacing longtime bassist Byron Stroud. The vacant position was subsequently filled by ex-Brain Drill 7-string bassist, Jeff Hughell.

The band's ninth studio album Undead was released on May 22, 2012. It was also announced on the same day that Rob Arnold would be replaced by Swedish guitarist Ola Englund of bands Feared and Scarpoint. The band says that Rob will remain a central writing partner and collaborator on future Six Feet Under releases.

The band released their tenth album Unborn on March 19, 2013.

According to a recent interview on March 21, 2013, Barnes is already writing material for the band's next album.[13]

In 2013, guitarist Ola Englund and drummer Kevin Talley departed the band. Marco Pitruzzella took over on drums.

Crypt of the Devil and Graveyard Classics IV: The Number of the Priest (2014–2016)[edit]

On May 5, 2015, Six Feet Under released their eleventh studio album, Crypt of the Devil. On this release Chris Barnes incorporated Phil Hall, Josh Hall and Brandon Ellis from the band Cannabis Corpse for the studio line up.

In April 2015, Jeff Hughell had to step out from the Hatefest tour in Europe and Victor Brandt of Entombed had to fill in as a temporary bassist.

The band released their fourth cover album Graveyard Classics IV: The Number of the Priest on May 27, 2016 with Ray Suhy on guitar and bass and Josh Hall on drums, both from Cannabis Corpse, appearing on the album.[14]

In 2016 longtime guitarist Steve Swanson left the band and was replaced by Cannabis Corpse member Ray Suhy.

Torment, Unburied, Next album (2017–present)[edit]

On January 10, 2017, the band announced their twelfth studio album, Torment, which was released by Metal Blade Records on February 24. The album marked the debut of drummer Marco Pitruzzella with the addition of Jeff Hughell who recorded guitar and bass for the album.[15] On February 28th, former Cannibal Corpse and Deicide guitarist Jack Owen joined the band.[16]

The band released a digital-only EP on July 6, 2018 entitled Unburied, consisting of previously unreleased material from the recording sessions of their prior four albums. That same year, Chris announced that the band was writing material for their 13th album, with an estimated release window yet to be determined.

Musical style[edit]

Chris formed Six Feet Under with the intention of writing death metal that wasn't simply about blast beats and speed. They play a more groove oriented style of death metal, performing slower, or more mid-tempo paced songs than most death metal acts. Barnes' lyrical style has changed little since his departure from Cannibal Corpse, though the lyrical content is not as shocking as that of his first band. Barnes writes about violence, gore and death, with some political leanings, such as the legality of marijuana and criticism of the government.[17]




Studio albums


  1. ^ (2005-03-02). "It's Official: Cannibal Corpse are the best-selling death metal band of the SoundScan Era". Archived from the original on 2003-12-02. Retrieved 2008-11-03.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 21, 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  3. ^ "Six Feet Under html Biography and Band Info at The Gauntlet". Retrieved 2015-05-15.
  4. ^ "The Album REview : True Carnage : Six Feet Under". Archived from the original on 2013-11-09. Retrieved 2015-05-16.
  5. ^ "Artists ::". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2015-05-15.
  6. ^ Review of Six Feet Under, Graveyard Classics 2, AllMusic
  7. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2006-05-05. Retrieved 2015-05-15.
  8. ^ "Six Feet Under – Commandment Review". 2015-05-05. Retrieved 2015-05-15.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 26, 2004. Retrieved 2004-10-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Six Feet Under – in Metal Bands". Retrieved 2015-05-15.
  11. ^ "Featured Content on Myspace". 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2015-05-15.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 26, 2004. Retrieved 2012-04-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  13. ^ (2013-03-21). "Six Feet Under – Reaping Slow Death". Retrieved 2015-05-15.
  14. ^ "SIX FEET UNDER Pays Tribute To IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST On 'Graveyard Classics IV'". April 13, 2016. Retrieved 2019-11-23.
  15. ^ "Six Feet Under to Release 'Torment' Album In February". January 10, 2017. Retrieved February 25, 2017.
  16. ^ "Guitarist Jack Owen Joins Former Cannibal Corpse Bandmate in Six Feet Under". Loudwire. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
  17. ^ Morgan, Anthony (June 2007). ""Ghosts of the Undead" – Six Feet Under vocalist Chris Barnes delivers ten bludgeons of his philosophical hatchet with seventh record Commandment". Lucem Fero. Retrieved 2008-03-08.

External links[edit]