Note: I’m horrendously late with this review. It’d been sitting on my computer for ages and I only remembered it once I did a system cleanup recently. Anyway, without furtherado, here’s my review of Aborted’s most recent album.
Hot damn. It’s not often that I’m lost for words after I listen to an album that’s rather extreme and aggressive. This one however, changed that and when I first heard it I was very impressed. By mixing traditional death metal with more technical playing, it creates a masterpiece of aggressive death metal.
Opening the album with a radio style song completely took me unaware. I was expecting a full-on sonic assault from the first second but it made for a nice change having something calmer to begin with. This completely changes when the title track comes in. A full on brutal track, which encompasses both slamming slower sections and full on ‘assault’ style sections. Having a slightly slower chorus section with an ascending guitar harmony adds to the brutality and adds an element of melody which a lot of brutal death metal bands fail to have.
Continuing through “Cadaverous Collection” and “Whoremageddon”, the album keeps the same overall feel with the brutality throughout. Crushing riffs, high-speed drums and the barks of the vocalist make for an interesting, if-repetitive, listen.
“Termination Redux” then plays and for some reason I’m reminded of an almost early Corpse riff. It has a similar feel in being simple yet crushingly heavy. The rest of the song progresses in a similar manner but with the same aspects as seen in the previous tracks present. It leads very nicely into one of my favourite tracks on the album, “Bit By Bit”. This song is truly a masterpiece in terms of how everything gells together. The main riff of the song has an almost syncopated feel and guitars and drums play off each other rally well to create a remarkable memorable song.
Up next is a song which had a nice little surprise in it. Opening with a slightly slower feel than the rest of the songs, it quickly ups the pace to a similar level as shown on “Whoremageddon”. It’s in the chorus where this song truly stands out. It features none other than a ‘duet’ with Travis Ryan of Cattle Decapitation. This is the icing on the cake for me and makes this one of, if not, the best track on the album.
“Coven of Ignorance” and “The Mephitic Conundrum” follow the overall jist of the album. Both feature some superb playing and a few memorable sections, in particular around 1:04 in “Coven of Ignorance”. It features a rather nice guitar counter-melody which helps break up the endless sonic assault. There’s almost a Jazz-esque solo in the song as well. It’s something that I was not expecting and made me chuckle a bit when I heard it. It’s not the first thing you expect to hear on a brutal death metal album…
“Forged for Decreptitude” opens with a rather interesting old sounding recording consisting of someone lamenting that he killed someone. Not the first thing you expect to hear on an album like this, but the traditional formula comes in after a few seconds and delivers the goods. Like some of the other tracks on the album, this one has the potential to go down a storm live. Following this is another really good song of the album and has an overall slower pace than the rest of the album. That’s not to say it’s not as hard hitting as the other songs. If anything, it’s harder hitting than previous tracks simply due to the variety in the music.
Finishing the album is the track “In Avernus”. This track is similar to the previous in that it has a mid-paced feel but still retains the impact. Having a backing guitar that’s sort drone like in style gives this track and eerie feel and makes it a worthy finishing track to this killer album.
In short then, this album is a cracking example of a band that’s on top form. The songs all flow into one another expertly and I’ve struggled to stop listening to this album since I got it. That, if anything, is a sure sign that this is one of the best albums this year…
Standout tracks: Retrogore, Bit by Bit, Divine Impediment, Coven of Ignorance, In Avernus
Retrogore is available via Century Media Records.