Everyone's Replaceable



photo by Scott Ferrara

Well, this is certainly a surprise: Six Feet Under’s new album, Undead, comes out today (read our review here) — and now the band has announced that guitarist Rob Arnold, who only just joined the band in early 2011, is retiring from touring, and will therefore, naturally, not be participating in any of the band’s upcoming live shows. He’ll be replaced by Ola Englund, who… yeah, I’ve never heard of him, either.

The split with Arnold, it seems, is on good terms: in a statement, Six Feet Under mainman Chris Barnes promises that the guitarist “will remain a central writing partner and fellow collaborator on future SFU releases.” And I get it… touring sucks! It’s hard to be away from your family and friends, and it’s not like these bands are making boatloads of money.

Still, it’s really hard not to bummed out by the news. By Barnes’ own admission, Arnold is a key reason why Undead is the best album Six Feet Under have made in years, if not ever, telling our own Justin Norton earlier this month that Arnold “inspired me.” Anyone familiar with Arnold’s work in Chimaira can hear his sonic fingerprints all over Undead; there really can be no doubt that he was a key creative force in the album’s creation. And when we saw SFU at Summer Slaughter last year, they sounded completely revitalized, like a different band — almost entirely due to the presence of Arnold and his former Chimaira bandmate, Kevin Talley (who, mercifully, seems to be remaining in SFU… at least for now). So even if Englund is a great guitar player… I can’t imagine I’m alone in wanting to see Arnold play all this great new material with the band. And now we won’t get that chance.

Oh well. Here’s video of Englund shredding, proving he is obviously up to the task of handling Arnold’s parts live:

Meanwhile, we haven’t heard a peep about Arnold’s mystery project with another former Chimaira drummer, Andols Herrick, since he tweeted about it back in January. At the very least, hopefully 2012 will bring some more Arnold music our way.

The now re-re-jiggered Six Feet Under hit the road with Dying Fetus and Revocation next month. Get dates here.


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