By Professor Jocko

I’ve been around music my entire life, and like most people, I seem to go in phases as far as my tastes for certain genres of music are concerned. The last couple of years, I’ve kind of dropped off the map as far as the extremely heavy stuff goes. Don’t get me wrong here, as I still have all my Death, Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse (once fronted by Chris Barnes), Carcass, Deicide and Arch Enemy CD’s and still play them from time to time. This time though, I want to thank Six Feet Under for bringing me back full circle to what once not only one of my favorite types of music, but one of my favorite bands as well. It seems as though "Undead" has been stuck in my CD player in my car since I got my hands on it a month ago. Let’s face it, even as a long time fan of the band, sometimes it is hard to stay in touch with something new, especially after eight previous studio albums. However, you have to hand it to Chris Barnes for having maintained not only a solid, loyal, fan base, but also being able to come up with new subject matter to sing about and make it sound unique.

From the very first moments of the first track titled “Frozen at the Moment of Death”, the pounding rhythm get you ready for something frightful yet exciting, that just sends a chill up your spine. The first track is what you are initially introduced to as a solid first impression, of course, which will set the pace for consecutive tracks and keep you interested in the remaining songs. The next track is appropriately called “Formaldehyde, which is very forceful, kind of like a volcanic eruption. The vocals are phenomenal and are strongly backed by ripping guitar solos and a head-pounding rhythm section. There are a few songs such as “Blood On My Hands” and “Reckless” that have some catchy hooks which are more apparent where the groove aspects are toned down slightly, making more room in the songwriting department. With SFU this approach is still typically underutilized, but at least the album works cohesively with different riffs as opposed to constant four-minute groove licks as seen in previous albums.

I have to say, that there is a lot more energy and aggression this time around, whereas before the band seemed content with their typical approach to music. Albums such as "Bringer of Blood" and "Commandment" did have some shining moments musically, but seemed to be just going through the motions in a few spots with some pointless songs to fill an album. However, as we have been inundated the last several years with the long grocery list of death-metal bands, it is hard to keep a genuine interest from one album to the next. Here, though, because of tracks such as “The Scar”, “Vampire Apocalypse” and the final track, titled “The Depths Of Depravity”, there seems to be a cohesive unity from beginning to end. The drums are probably the more prominent parts of these last few songs, just as several previous SFU albums, but "Undead" seems a little different, as the songs are allowed to breathe a little bit in a few spots where the bridge parts are a nice change which also adds more of an overall interest to each individual song.