Review Summary: Six Feet Under FINALLY release top quality album5 of 6 thought this review was well written
Everybody who is remotely into death metal will know of Chris Barnes. The man's a legend in the scene, having originally been part of Cannibal Corpse, before being kicked out for his rapidly deteriorating vocal performances. He then set up one of the most frequently criticized bands in the death metal scene, Six Feet Under. Everyone has their own opinion of this band, with some people saying they are one of their favourite bands and others saying they are utterly terrible. I am of the opinion that they were good until they reached their peak on Maximum Violence, and after that album they went downhill. But here they are, 15 years after forming, they have released their new album Undead. And boy, does it kill!
This is the only album in their discogrophy to feature Rob Arnold, who plays both guitar and bass on this album, and he is actually rather good. The riffs he lays down are fun to listen to, if not slightly generic and overused. The bass work is rarely audible, but when it is, it lays down a nice solid groove to bridge the gap between the drums and the guitars. However, the side of the album that many people will want to hear about is Chris Barnes's vocals. Often the target of much criticism when this band is spoken about, I can firmly say that this is his best vocal performance since his Cannibal Corpse days. It is a known fact that he has not got any of the power of his CC days, so why can people not just accept his modern work for what it is? He is a brutal vocalist, who still slays many vocalists. Plus, he actually puts his heart into his music.
One of the better tracks on this album would be Track 3, 18 Days. The drumming is rather intense on this song, the guitar work sounds fantastic, and Barnes proves that he can still cut it amongst the newer death metal vocalists, due to the fact that whenever you hear him growl, you instantly know who you are listening to. The slower section near the end of the song is a slight letdown considering how good the rest of the track is, but this is definately one to listen out for.
Blood On My Hands is the other highlight that is really worth listening to. The way Chris Barnes growls the titular words is sheer awesome, despite the fact that, as every death metal listener in the world will tell you, he really is starting to age. The core riffs to it are some of the best on the album, and the drumming keeps a solid beat to it. Another great track.
Aside from the two mentioned above, the rest vary from average to slightly above average. This is ***ing Six Feet Under-you expect consistency, not amazement, so those two tracks will probably leave you pleasently surprised. Hands down worst song on this record would be the track Missing Victims. It is a poor, generic song, that fails to do anything to catch the listeners interest.
So, overall, this is a decent, consistent, solid album. It is worth a listening, as it is possibly their best album to date. Check out 18 Days or Blood On My Hands before picking up the album to make your mind up. 4/5