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Six Feet Under – Graveyard Classics IV: The Number Of The Priest

Maiden and Priest anthems reimagined for no reason by Six Feet Under

When Chris Barnes’ endearingly sloppy crew released the first Graveyard Classics album in 2000, it was hard to stifle a grin as they dismantled songs by AC/DC, Sabbath and Deep Purple and rebuilt them as meat-fisted death-metal party anthems.

Sixteen years later, the joke’s officially worn thin. While there’s no reason that 6FU should be barred from reinterpreting their favourite trad metal classics in any way they see fit, it’s impossible to listen to these lumbering demolitions of Maiden and Priest without thinking: “Yeah… but why?” The novelty of hearing Barnes wrap his vocal cords around songs that were originally performed by some of the greatest vocalists of all time stopped being funny midway through Graveyard Classics 2, 2004’s wholesale reworking of Back In Black, and hearing his messy growls smeared all over the ageless likes of Priest’s Starbreaker and Maiden’s Prowler feels akin to someone wiping their arse on your favourite t-shirt. It reaches a peak of awfulness on Flash Of The Blade, a hugely underrated Maiden tune that didn’t deserve to be violated like this.