Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Six Feet Under - Unborn - Album Review

Year: 2013

Six Feet Under began as the side project of vocalist Chris Barnes (ex-Cannibal Corpse) and guitarist Allen West (Obituary). Over the years, this band has released 12 studio albums between 1995 to 2012, while being subject to numerous line up changes. Their previous effort, Undead, which came out last year, was very well received with many pointing out that the band was maturing as artists. Now within a year of releasing Undead, the band gets ready to release Unborn on 19th March 2013  through Metal Blade Records.

So, does the new album continue to show the band maturing or does it take them back to their days of playing uninspired cave man metal?

The answer is, it is a bit of both. To be more clear, the band still continue to play heavy-as-fuck old school death metal, but this time, they do it in a way that it is engaging. 

The album begins with an acoustic guitar intro leading into a heavily doom laden song, 'Neuro Osmosis'. First thing that I noticed was that, unlike their previous works, this album has a pretty impressive guitar work with riffs, leads and bridges scattered throughout the songs. All the songs are mid tempo and carry an infectious groove that hooks the listener. Tracks like 'Zombie Blood Curse', 'Prophecy' and 'Decapitated' are filled with deadly hooks and memorable leads that encourage repeated listens.

The vocalist Chris Barnes, in the past had come under a lot of criticism for his echoing death growls that were unbearable. This album shows a massive improvement on his part.  While not saying that the vocals are exemplary in this record, it is a massive improvement. There are some little parts where the vocals get annoying, but these parts are few and far in between.

This album is not perfect and it does have a few weak tracks in the mid section ('Incision', 'Fragment' and 'Alive To Kill You'). The problem with these tracks are that the vocals dominate too much and push other elements back. If maybe, the vocalist, had not tried to steal the limelight for himself, these tracks might have been better. 

The short length of the tracks works a great advantage to this album. With the good tracks, the song finishes quick leaving you hungry for more and with the weak tracks, the song finishes quick enough that the track doesnt get on your nerve. The production is raw and heavy, though the vocals could have been processed better.

Overall, this might just be Six Feet Under's best work yet. There are moments when it shines and a few moments when it falters. 

Rating : 78%

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