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Six Feet Under - 'Undead' (metalblade) 4/5

Formed back in the early 1990's by Chris Barnes (ex-Cannibal Corpse) and Allen West (ex-Obituary) Florida outfit Six Feet Under have become fairly major players on the US death metal underground, with eight previous studio albums and three more albums of 'fun' cover versions theur distinctive brand of groove flavoured death has won them a lot of friends and now we have album number nine to delight us.

Now despite a bit of internal upheaval in the recording of this one (guitarist  Rob Arnold quitting on the day of release having already played the bass on this one following the departure of Terry Butler early in the recording process) SFU have delivered a nice tight, competent and very entertaining record. It manages to comfortably bridge the gap between death metal and the mainstream, being heavy, and brutal enough to keep yer average Cannibal Corpse fan pit happy, whilst heading far enough into Machine Head / Lamb Of God territory without leading to any hint of an accusation of sell out.

There are 12 cuts on offer, all penned, performed and produced to a high standard. Highlights include the post Sabbath riff fest of Blood On My Hands, the groove metal workout of Reckless and the doom fueled plod and pound of Vampire Apocalypse. Impressive stuff indeed, but my fave cut on here is the closing 'micro-epic' Depths of Depravity which manages to compact a full on multi section prog doom epic into under four minutes.

All in all this is another very worthy album from a very worthy band that after 20 years or so are still showing no signs of running out of ideas.

Worth checking out

For fans of... Machine Head, Unearth, Lamb Of God, Titan's Eve.....

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