Six Feet Under
Unborn


3.0
good

Review

by Jacquibim CONTRIBUTOR (52 Reviews)
March 19th, 2013 | 21 replies | 2,567 views


Release Date: 03/19/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: So-so band release a so-so album

Six Feet Under have essentially been trotting down the path of monotony since their inception, consistently releasing poor to slightly above average albums every few years or so. The issue Six Feet Under face after what is now 20 years since Chris Barnes’ founded the project, is that after a run of consistently unremarkable hogwash, they barely even register of the radar anymore. Sure, in terms of commercial success, these guys are up there with some of the best, but their lack of relevance in today’s death metal scene couldn’t be overstated, and they only have themselves to blame for it. The good news however, is that now on their tenth album, Unborn, they actually appear to be trying to release something worth listening to.

The album is heavily centred on groovy and infectious riffs, which could have been nicely complimented by vibrant performances from the bassist and drummer in adding a much needed dynamic element to the music. But unfortunately the bass is practically inaudible, and when it can be heard, the performance of Jeff Hughell is incredibly pedestrian, aimlessly blending in with the guitarists as if he weren’t even there. The drumming follows in the same vein as the bass, while competent, it’s also repetitive and ever so slightly uninspired, falling back on mid-tempo double kicking and recycled fills a little too often. The strongpoint of the album is the groove-soaked mid-tempo riffing of Steve Swanson and Ola Englund. Their musicianship will hardly set the world alight, but the riffs are undeniably catchy and have some hefty staying power, sometimes trickling back into your head hours after the album has ended. Unfortunately, Chris Barnes’ vocals drag the whole experience down a notch. They essentially lack range, audibility, projection and are - to put it bluntly - quite dull. For almost the entire album, Chris spits a barely decipherable mush of forced mid-low growls, baring no resemblance to the vicious delivery that characterised his Cannibal Corpse days.

While the individual performances of the musicians on this album aren’t exactly impressive for the most part, the production effectively assumes the role of damage control. The mixing greatly favours the guitars, and while the bass can’t really be deciphered, it does provide a nice lower end for the riffs, giving them a clear but also deep and crunchy sound. This devotion to the guitars basically relegates the performances of the other members to being part of an unobtrusive backdrop. They provide neat little aesthetic touches to the overall sound, but aren’t distracting, nor do they feel out of place. Being Six Feet Under, the song-writing on display here is obviously formulaic, but it works. Most of the tracks are surprisingly easy to distinguish despite a lot of them appearing identical in terms of composition. Across the album, the riffs are diverse enough set individual tracks apart with relative ease, and due to said composition, the album is very consistent in terms of quality. Sure, it is the standard verse-chorus affair we’ve all heard a million times before, but the strength of the riffs themselves and the simplicity of their implementation do make for an enjoyable listen.

Unborn is obviously not going to change the opinions of purists or vigilant detractors of this band. In fact, at this point, I don’t think Six Feet Under are ever going to release something that genuinely defies expectations as a much maligned act within the death metal community. It may be too late to undo the damage done by their previous output, but at least these guys have appeared to make an effort on Unborn, crafting something simple and enjoyable for even the most casual metal fan.



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user ratings (41)
Chart.
3.2
good
other reviews of this album
Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (3)
Same old Six Feet Under, with a couple of friends....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2013



13570 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Short review for an unremarkable album, criticism welcome as ever.

Digging: Krusseldorf - Fractal World

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2013



6942 Comments


Dammit, i was going to be the first on this, with exactly the same rating.

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2013



13570 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Sorry man, I'd been planning on writing this since it leaked and whipped this up real quick yesterday.

BassDemon333
March 19th 2013



3351 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Good review. I didn't like this as much as Undead. Rob Arnold should have contributed more, hes a good part of what made that album actually decent.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2013



6942 Comments


Been writing for a coupke of weeks now, and from the jist of your review compared to mine, this has very littlelasting value.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2013



19485 Comments


nice revew you should do grave - into the grave next lol

Digging: The Who - Tommy

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2013



13570 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Probably will in the next few days so don't worry.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2013



19485 Comments


I'm not worried I just think you'd be a good writer for the job. I pos'd by the way ;)

necroscope86
March 19th 2013



213 Comments


Good review, "Undead" was the only album I heard from Six Feet Under and even that was disappointing given that many said it was a good place to start. One thing worth noting is that they are not below "the radar" at all, their albums still sell among the best in the genre which is why they are something like the eighth best selling death metal act. This is coming from someone who knows nothing about death metal at all and has only heard some of the bands that were actually big in the mid-1990's and a few albums here and there.

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2013



13570 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Commercial success =/= relevance in a genre like DM. Hell, I explained that in the very next sentence.

necroscope86
March 19th 2013



213 Comments


That's true except for a band like Cannibal Corpse who sold 2 million units and yet have little relevance given that their albums are all boring and the same over and over again aside from 1 or 2 tracks and they just do not know when to quit.

Topaz
March 19th 2013



324 Comments


These guys are shitheads

Pterazord13
March 19th 2013



4 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think it's one of their strongest releases. It's not as good as Undead, though. It totally destroys their previous work.

Madbutcher3
March 19th 2013



1082 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

better than their other albums (not that hard) but still pretty bleh.

KILL
March 19th 2013



70670 Comments


their first records their best

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

FrozenVain
March 19th 2013



2373 Comments


Great work, Jac (pos) I fucking love the album cover for this so I'm going to listen to it anyway, but I actually thought Undead was good so I dunno. How would you rate undead (If you have heard it), Jac?

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
March 20th 2013



13570 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Damn, 2 negs.

^^ Only gave Undead a passing listen and I thought it was roughly on par with this.

necroscope86
March 20th 2013



213 Comments


"Undead" was alright but there was nothing that stood out about it. Six Feet Under are just a band that makes death metal, they do nothing unique with the genre and their riffs are over-played to the point of stagnancy.

FrozenVain
March 20th 2013



2373 Comments


prob some faggot SFU fanboys that ghost negged.

...but who the fuck is a SFU fanboy?

sixdegrees
March 20th 2013



16848 Comments


Chris Barnes is a joke

Digging: Ted Nugent - Shutup&jam!



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