Hooks aplenty accompany all the meat delivered in Undead. I am by no means an authority in the genre and all its offspring but it seems as though precious few practitioners can deliver an extreme experience that manages to keep the toes tapping, head banging and all other rhythmic responses more or less chugging along spasm-free. This marriage is demonstrated in the ebb and flow of the near-flawless "18 Days," from frantic fretboard travels in its opening bars to the muted yet breakneck riffing and drums that kick in around the minute mark as Chris Barnes' vocals shred in crescendo. Then, thirty seconds later, it turns again and the floodgates open, the listener wondering if perhaps The Bleeding is really eighteen years in the past.
Six Feet Under have somehow managed, at least with this record, to perfect the art of the deathly amble. They're some kind of decrepit clockwork sloth with guitars racing... pulsebeat... drums pounding... pulsebeat... an almighty groove as pacemaker set on a circular orbit at the speed of "shuffle" with vocals far more rhythmic than one would ever discern at the surface, locking into the listener's own bodily vibrations while simultaneously vibrating the listener's body. This shit sounds best loud. There's enough energy in this lethargy to get the undead moving, even if they start slowly. The lumbering verse of "Formaldehyde" comes on like some Lovecraftian behemoth accompanied on all sides by otherworldly electrical storms of sound.
Undead is not perfect, I suppose (tracks like "Near Death Experience" and "Reckless" come damn close), but its forty minutes flow with little by way of coagulation from any outright clunkers. Across a dozen tracks Six Feet Under display enough restraint to achieve consistency via unfettered groove yet manage to sprout so many sentient tentacles that the sound never grows stale, only stronger. You sure as hell can't kill it and, really, who would want to?