Six Feet Under – Undead (2012)

sixfeetunder_undead-4963422 If you follow death metal at all, you probably dislike Six Feet Under to a certain extent. Chris Barnes, the frontman and founder of the group, hasn’t exactly accrued an extremely positive reputation since his departure from Cannibal Corpse in 1995. Six Feet Under has released a few poor albums since their inception, including, but not limited to, the abysmal cover albums known as Graveyard Classics. In 2012, however, Six Feet Under is back with a new line-up and Undead, their strongest and most well-refined effort to date.

A signature element of Six Feet Under’s previous albums was a distinct death ‘n’ roll sound. The band has decided to opt out of the death ‘n’ roll sound and adopt a predominantly old school death metal sound. While I never had a problem with the death ‘n’ roll elements on previous Six Feet Under albums, I feel like this change was a good choice. Some of the songs on Undead, such as 18 Days, are reminiscent of Chris Barnes’s early work with Cannibal Corpse, which will undoubtedly win some dissenters over.

While Chris Barnes’s vocals are not nearly as ferocious as they were on the earliest Cannibal Corpse albums, his low growls are gritty and raw and they compliment the music nicely. Barnes has also made some significant adjustments to his vocal delivery, such as the abandonment of his higher register. Barnes’s high vocals are, to put it bluntly, awful and the fact that they have been largely stripped away is a huge plus. The only instance in which Barnes’s high shrieks are utilized on Undead is around the middle of The Scar.

The newest additions to Six Feet Under, Kevin Talley, Rob Arnold, and Jeff Hughell on drums, guitar, and bass, respectively, all bring a bit of flair and technicality to the table. Seeing as how they’ve played in bands such as Decrepit Birth, Dying Fetus, and Brain Drill, this should come as no surprise. Talley, Arnold, and Hughell help make Six Feet Under’s current line-up the best Six Feet Under line-up to date.

Six Feet Under did quite a few things right with Undead they should be given a considerable degree of credit for this album. Any absurdity associated with Six Feet Under in the past is nowhere to be found on the band’s latest effort. There are no AC/DC covers or laughable guest spots from artists such as Ice T. Instead, Six Feet Under brings us forty minutes of solid old school death metal. Undead is a step in the right direction for Six Feet Under and I would recommend it to any fan of death metal.

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By Mike O’Hara ~ Me Gusta Reviews