Six Feet Under – Unborn by Mark Ashby

Rating: – 4.5/5
Distributor/label: Metal Blade
Released: – March 18 2013

Band line-up:
Chris Barnes – vocals
Ola Englund – guitar
Steve Swanson – guitar
Kevin Talley – drums
Jeff Hughell – bass

Album Track listing:
Neuro Osmosis
Zombie Blood Curse
Alive To Kill You
The Sinister Craving
The Curse Of Ancients

Not so much a follow up to last year’s ‘Undead’ but more of a companion work – in fact, the second half of an elongated, dual-release concept album of sorts – ‘Unborn’ naturally follows a natural progression to its predecessor and is extremely similar in both sound and approach.

With this, the Florida five piece’s tenth album, SFU have cemented themselves as the forerunners of the more groove-laden approach to death metal which has been picked up by so many other bands over the past couple of decades. However, ‘Undead’ is also probably their most pure DM album, certainly in recent history, especially on the likes of ‘Incision’ and ‘Psychosis’.

The sound obviously is dominated by Chris Barnes’ distinctive, guttural vocals, which are filled with their usual dank menace, and Kevin Talley’s drums, the latter of which lend a depth and diversity which many bands within this niche genre fail to capture: just witness the way in which he builds the opening track, ‘Necro Osmosis’ from a slow, broiling cesspit to a behemothic slice of restrained, gargantuan brutality – totally contrasting with the opening blastbeat barrage of ‘Prophecy’, which also features a particularly bassy run through from Barnes.

Ola Englund and Steve Swanson deliver another hugely effective combination of melodic yet aggressive riffs and there is not a weak song on here – jumping from the gothic fist punching anthemics of ‘Zombie Blood Curse’ to the fast and furious thrashoramics of ‘Decapitate’ and ‘The Curse Of The Ancients’ with ease and neck-breakingly vigorous aplomb.