Chris Barnes, the maniac rastafari growler, has blown up our minds many times in the past with his post Cannibal Corpse records. Something like that happens in 2012 with “Undead”. It’s the first Six Feet Under work after 2008 and the third cover album of “Graveyard Classics”, so the great impatience is justified. Not only for the quality of the new album, but also, for how tied the two Chimaira members would be in a Six Feet Under record. Judging from a first listening, “Undead” is surely better than “Death Rituals” and the band seems to have returned to their glorious albums of the ’90s and early ’00s. I know that the haters are gonna always hate, but here we are not supposed to compare if Cannibal Corpse is a better death metal band and bullshit like that.
Twelve classic Six Feet Under tracks, with the band’s characteristic death metal music and 40 minutes of pure rot with groove elements. “Frozen At The Moment Of Death” along with “Formaldehyde” make a concrete necrophiliac introduction and “18 Days”, especially at the beginning, reminds a lot of the era between 1995 and 1999. One song that I distinguished is “Molest Dead”. This song easily comes forward for headbanging, as the drumming and the deep growls become more rotten during the song. And now comes “Blood On My Hands”. Its slow tempo and guitar melodies complete this morbid death attitude of “Undead”. It’s clear that this record is full of reminiscent of the roots of this genre, with the riffs of “Missing Victims” and “Reckless” doing a dive into the beginning of death metal music and keeping old-school death metal music still fresh nowadays.
Although songs like “Near Death Experience” or “The Depths Of Depravity” are fine samples of the “Undead” record, in my opinion, there are plenty of other songs that make “Undead” one of the best death metal albums of the year. “The Scar” for example, is an absolutely strong death metal track with very stunning riffs, smashing drums (Kevin Talley did a really good work in this album) and the usual sick growls of Chris Barnes. “Delayed Combustion Device” is my favorite song in “Undead” because here Chris does perhaps the best vocals he ever did and the whole music structure has something of “Maximum Violence”. Finally, “Vampire Apocalypse” completes the great songs of the new album, with maybe one of their sickest tremolo pickings that they ever composed and the dark guitar melodies.
The whole “Undead” is a real “back to the roots” Six Feet Under. It makes some not very good albums, like “True Carnage” or “Bringer of Blood”, look like they never existed and to be the new album a sequel of the “Haunted”, “Warpath” and “Maximum Violence”. Chris Barnes still has it and the new members fit perfectly here. Maybe, “Undead” isn’t the top record of the band, but it’s the best record that Six Feet Under could compose in 2012.