Six Foot Six – Beggar’s Hill (Scarlet Records)Monday, 4th December 2023
Third albums for most artists tend to be benchmark releases. Shedding influences to cut teeth into a sound more unique or original, especially in metal it’s hard to argue with the track record of major players like Iron Maiden, Metallica, or Slayer for three prime examples to establish legacy through The Number of the Beast, Master of Puppets, and Reign in Blood respectively. That’s the moment that arrives for Swedish trio Six Foot Six through Beggar’s Hill – a record that takes what’s already been present in their European melodic metal meets hard rock platform to extend branches of influence culturally to still develop an addictive outing.
Drummer extraordinaire Snowy Shaw appears as a special guest to augment the main musical/vocal duties of the three-piece, his larger-than-life presence felt in his thunderous fills or main groove/tempo mastery during highlights such as “Fire Will Burn” and the epic march that permeates the mid-tempo title track. The bass / guitar interplay contains many classic metal aspects people will be able to point to for solid, headbanging appeal – be it Iron Maiden, Judas Priest on through to Metallica or Accept – as the highway ready “Analog Man” or crunchy opener “Raise the Dead” exemplify. Towards the back half of the record, “A Templar’s Tale” is a trilogy of tracks that contains robust riffs with spirited gang background vocal supplementation for “The Prodigy”, becoming more reflective in acoustic/folk-like instrumentation a la Blind Guardian/Jethro Tull before kicking into electric gear on “The Siege”, taking in more of the unity, battle cry spirit on the concluding effort “The Homecoming”. Most ardent metalheads will bow down in homage to the alluring voice of Kristoffer Göbel, previously known for his early work with Falconer. He still has the pipes, delivery, plus presence to captivate – especially on the Deep Purple-esque “Voices Inside” that contains some slithering Egyptian-like strains around simplified twin guitar harmonies.
Self-produced, Beggar’s Hill is an ideal release for those who love melodic heavy metal with occasional throwback aspects to the 70’s/80’s hard rock/thrash scene – yet establishing a path more majestic and epic for Six Foot Six. This should stir interest in the group, as these Swedes understand their style enough to craft very addictive songs that people will want to cherish again and again.