In recent years, Chris Barnes has become almost as well known for his opinions as his music. Given his propensity for spouting off, you just know that he’s got a lot to say about what he considers to be the best death metal albums of all time.
As part of his My 3 Questions To series, Jonathan Montenegro asked the former glass-gargling frontman of Cannibal Corpse and current Six Feet Under singer to name his “top three death metal albums of all time.” It’s a daunting question for any metal fan, but if anyone’s qualified to speak with authority on the subject it would be Chris (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):
“Well, on that I’m gonna have to say Posessed ‘Seven Churches’. I’m gonna go with Death ‘Leprosy and Spiritual Healing and Scream Bloody Gore’; I’m gonna have to wrap those three up, ’cause Chuck [Schuldiner, Death mainman] was a good friend of mine and I was a huge fan of Death early on. So, rest in peace, Chuck. And also I’m gonna go with… The third one, I’m gonna have to say Obituary ‘Slowly We Rot’ — a huge album. All three of those bands are similar type of death metal. Of course Posessed is the kings of death metal; they pretty much started it all. Jeff Becerra, fucking awesome guy, man. So that’s where I come from, man. I really loved all those albums. And if I have to throw a fourth one in there, I’m gonna have to say [Cannibal Corpse‘s] ‘Butchered At Birth’ — kind of pat myself on the back. That was a huge album in death metal as far as kind of what our twist on the whole thing, and I think it influenced a lot of people, just as Posessed influenced a lot of bands to move in a certain direction.”
Barnes helped to form Cannibal Corpse from the remnants of several Buffalo area bands in 1988. He founded Six Feet Under, whose lineup now includes former Cannibal Corpse guitarist Jack Owen, after leaving the band in 1995.
In an interview from 2017 with The Chainsaw Symphony radio show, Chris Barnes spoke about the possibility of a future Six Feet Under / Cannibal Corpse tour:
“That would be a tough one to put together, my friend. [Laughs] You wouldn’t have any problems from my side of things, but I don’t think other people would be agreeable to that. I don’t think there’s animosity [between us]. I think there’s just protecting other people’s feelings. I think that everyone knows certain things about everything and they’d like to see things a certain way, and that wouldn’t portray things a certain way that they would wanna portray them. So… I’m being very general and trying to be diplomatic about it.”
Barnes spoke a bit about his reasons behind leaving Cannibal Corpse, saying:
“I just didn’t like being around them, because I was being ridiculed, and I just didn’t feel comfortable being in the same room with people that weren’t very nice to me personally. And I was part of that too, so we had all of our own type of differences, personally, and I don’t think it was gonna be able to be worked out. You know, mutual respect goes a far way when it comes to being in close quarters with people.”
He went on to elaborate:
“I’m sure we’d do things differently [today] — I mean, I know we would. It’s just the way things worked out. And I don’t have any animosity towards those guys at all, and I don’t think they do towards me. It’s just that… It would be too confusing for things [if we were to tour together], I think, from their perspective.”
However, he feels like the final result might be worth the struggle:
“I’d do anything. I just like to see a lot of people out there with smiles on their faces; that’s the only thing that’s important to me, man. Like, seriously, if I see a big crowd of people that everyone’s smiling, like, ‘Oh, yeah! This is what we’ve been waiting for,’ I’m ready then, man. If I see a small room of people that are just fired up to go, man, it just gets me going on stage, you know. And that’s all I’m there for — that feeling, that sharing of energy, man. And I’ll go for it any which way to get that any way I can with any person I can get it with. And if it gets to that means to an end, that’s all that’s important, man — that transference. And some people just don’t see it that way, man, and it’s cool
“I’m not gonna be mean to anybody, and I never wanted to be. I’m my own person, and sometimes I’m put at fault for that, and I think we all are in our own way. And that’s just life; those are the things we deal with as people.”
Six Feet Under’s Nightmares Of The Decomposed was released in October 2020 via Metal Blade Records