Leaving behind a 2011 charged with drama and speculation, especially after his break-up with original bassist Terry Butler and drummer Greg Gall, the infamous Death Metal legend, horror enthusiast and vocalist Chris Barnes, brings Six Feet Under back from the depths of the underworld – now as a five piece – to conjure a blistering new album, strategically titled Undead.
From the very beginning it’s noticeable that the line-up changes have deeply impacted the band’s performing and writing style. New guitarist Rob Arnold and drummer Kevin Talley (both ex-Chimaira) bring new levels of speed and virtuosity to opener “Frozen at the Moment of Death” and the pseudo-Cannibal Corpse-esque “Formaldehyde”. Even the tracks with a closer sound to classic SFU, like “Missing Victims”, “The Scar” and the infectious “Reckless” cannot escape the new-found technical renaissance the quintet has experienced.
Although this is a refreshing addition to the band’s sound, it’s still impossible not to miss the maybe less tight, but more expansive and groove-infused vibe that the former Gall/Butler rhythmic session used to create. Thankfully, there’s plenty to enjoy on these 12 brand new cuts and that’s what matters the most about Undead; which also gains in ferocity from Barnes, who is leaving aside most of his usual excesses in favor of a more controlled vocal delivery.
Some people will quickly embrace this album, while others will experience a longer period of adaptation to the new set of rules that Six Feet Under have brought to the game. Whatever the case, it’s good to know that one of the world’s biggest Death Metal acts is still a commanding force of sonic destruction.
01. Frozen At the Moment of Death
03. 18 Days
04. Molest Dead
05. Blood On My Hands
06. Missing Victims
08. Near Death Experience
09. The Scar
10. Delayed Combustion Device
11. Vampire Apocalypse
12. The Depths of Depravity
Run Time: 40:13
Release Date: May 22, 2012
Check out the song: “Formaldehyde”