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Sixes – Mephistopheles

by Eric Tinmouth-Poulin at 01 March 2018, 6:48 AM

SIXES is a Southern California Blackened Doom Metal band, who recently signed to Black Bow Records and will be releasing their debut album on March 1, 2018. The album clocks in at 62 minutes; dispersed over 6 tracks. It was recorded by Brent Wisdom at 13 O'Clock studio and mastered by Brad Boatright. “Acid God” has a slow repeated bass line and guitar distortion (which gets louder) especially when the 2nd channel appears. Some crushing feedback is mashed with a gruesome riff rich of suffering and despair. We also get what we like to call the “money riff”, a cool head banger. The vocals appear (somewhat blackish), but the death style is more similar to PISSING RAZORS. As a bonus, a nice NEUROSIS-like riff guitar slides and a dash of feedback to the end of the song.

“A Cross To Burn” picks up where last song left of. More feedback, crushing guitars and low bass/matched with distorted guitars. We get some guitar riff variations crossed with pounding drums and mouth-watering heaviness. The vocals this time sound more like EYEHATEGOD and we are treated with some double bass/pounding riffs and ominous shrieks with once again, a feedback crescendo finale. “Voidkiller” has a lovely vibrating bass line, clean vocals of anguish, that are very haunting (think Layne Staley). This one has clean guitars and much higher notes. The vocals transition from being clean to aggressive, following the pattern of heaviness.

“Motherless” has more of this trademark guitar distortion and cymbals galore. There definitely is BLACK SABBATH-like slower riffs and melody in here. If YOB had black-metal singing, this is what it would sound like, very sinister and apocalyptic. The ending feels like an avalanche of rocks falling and a wall of sound covering the listener. “Fogbreather” is the shortest song of the album at a bit over 5 minutes and starts off with an amazing guitar sound, no long intro present for this one. It serves its purpose as being a straight-ahead juggernaut, a throwback to the older MASTODON sound, with clean screams from Stephen Cummings. “Mephistopheles”– This is the title track of the album, and is my favorite, it starts off slow, but really picks up with nice black-metal vocals and violent blast beats. It returns to its cavernous, guttural nature later, but the mix of both is amazingly well executed, and has the most guttural growls of the entire album.

A very strong effort for a debut, in a genre where it is difficult to be different and innovative. Should please all fans of funeral doom.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Acid God
2. A Cross To Burn
3. Voidkiller
4. Motherless
5. Fogbreather
6. Mephistopheles
Stephen Cummings - Vocals, Guitar
Hannes Bogacs - Guitar
Zander Reddis - Bass
Dustin Daniels - Drums
Record Label: Black Bow Records


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