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Belgian brutal gore/grinders Aborted have returned after a surprisingly decent album to offer up a new album that not only returns focus back to the extreme side of their patented sound, but does so with a severity and intent to maim that makes this one of their very best works overall.
The extremity is heard almost immediately as the rapid fire beating undertaken on the first proper two songs, the title track and the outright vicious ‘Origin of Disease’, showcase a band that is back to undertaking its malicious aims through a combination of razorwire-riffing and infectious intrusions of melody, as the two songs display a remarkable ability to maintain a vicious edge, yet keep the material memorable and well-written. Other blasts of brutality are apparent in scorchers ‘Coronary Reconstruction’ and ‘Grime’, which features a duet with Jason Netherton of Misery Index that might rank as the most intense track the band as a whole has ever recorded. Other stand-out tracks include the rather catchy ‘From a Tepid Whiff’ that features one of the better written lead sections on the album to the outright memorable ‘Of Scabs and Boils’, perhaps as hard-hitting and punishing as any other track with its frantic blasts of grind whirling around at ultra-velocity that makes for a totally damaging section on the whole album.
Beyond the brutality, what makes the album work as a whole is the seamless meshing between the insanity and expertly-controlled chaos of their earlier works with the infusion of melodic passages that were introduced more recently. ‘Vermicular, Obscene, Obese’ is the most accomplished of these types of tracks on the album, effortlessly switching from murderous mayhem to almost harmonic riffs with a bit of groove thrown into the mix that is delectable and highly memorable. Also of note is ‘Expurgation Euphoria’, which begins with an eerie piano intro that soon gives way to a simply memorable riff that showcases the band’s ability as songwriters and performers that have come a long, long way from the very beginning.
All of this is fine and well if you’re into this brutal genre of music, though to some this may sound like a cacophony of noise and inhuman grunting over the top of it. That’s far from the truth, but that impression can be given off since this does tend to run into each other when it gets to the back half of the album, and the obsession with surgeries-gone-wrong can get old pretty quickly. It’s more than just a bunch of noise, though, and those that give this one a chance will find it to be plenty worthwhile and more than adequate death metal album.
The mid 90's. A period which spawned forth an overwhelming amount of death metal/grindcore bands for the world to indulge upon. Somewhere in the frenzied mix, Aborted sprouted from the grounds of Belgium like a zombified, bloodied, disfigured, beautiful corpse. As far to chaos that music waves can reach, Aborted have been a primitive group to extreme music. Though slipping a tad off the positive radar with the release of Strychnine.213 in 2008, Aborted have recollected the weapons they kill best with. Resharpened, resuscitated, and ready to begin a slaughtering spree, the creation of Global Flatline may very well be the best extreme release of 2012. Something incredible must be in those Belgian waffles.
Unlike previous albums Aborted have put out, they now combine a strange and efficiently creepy use of ambient noises. "Omega Mortis" softly pours in, and instantly a pummeling thud crushes all hope of sanity. The post-apocalyptic feel to the intro literally poisons you. A pulse monitor carries the brief period of silence into the guillotine.
This is 43:30 minutes of pure warfare. Most recognizable, is that every track is respectively different than the next. This isn't some hyped up death metal album that sounds all the same through out. Aborted have cast the die and won the most treasurous prize out there - ORIGINALITY. Their coined melodic solos make a return and shine, if not blind, excellently out of the 13 tracks (especially "Endstille" & "Fecal Forgery").
There is just something about Sven's vocals that provide such intensity & furiosity to your day. He's grotesquely raw, vile and unique. The patterns of vocals exquisitely invite other such talents as Jason Netherton (Misery Index), and Keijo Niinimaa (Rotten Sound). It all matches the instruments so bloody well. Forget straight forward psychotics, this album is also coated with groove. Tracks like "Of Scabs and Boils" (using much different guitar riffing patterns of previous Aborted works) and "Grime" (pulling hardcorish riffs, meshed into a pure grindy holocaust). The songwriting is absolutely brilliant and there is no doubt in my mind that a riff or two will be stuck in your head for weeks.
Last but not least - Ken Bedene. Where the hell did they find this guy? He literally tears into his drum set like a ravenous lion gorging on a torn open zebra. It's psychotic, precise, and mind blowing. Drum fills & speeds that clench one big mighty fist to fuck the planet with.
As the final track, "Endstille", begins, it leaves you with one ugly feeling. You either get goosebumps from the haunting radio clips & dissonant riffing, or you want to blanket yourself with razors and embrace the end. The ending notes & world famous speech by J. Robert Oppenheimer lets you go as if you were overlooking a destroyed city from a mountaintop. Smoldering rubble and clouds of black smoke. Which is just what this album does - FUCKING DESTROY. Let it spin and enjoy the best release metal has to offer for the year of 2012.
Aborted have long been a project close to my heart. Though I was aware of, and interested in, these sick Belgian death metal surgeons through a number of years and releases, it was 2007’s divisive Slaughter and Apparatus: A Methodical Overture that cemented them as genre favorites. Cries of dissent rose from the faithful at the inclusion of melodic, almost Gothenberg-style elements, but for my twisted, black little heart it was just tits, being a huge fan of both straight death and melodeath at the time. However, like so many others, the puzzling follow-up Strychnine.213 sent a number of warning flags flying in my brain, as the band had seemingly dumbed down their relentless assault a bit too far, skirting the border of a nightmarish land of agony and blood-stained compositional fecal mounds that metalheads fear to tread, a realm of disease that can unwittingly spread to even the most pure of projects. I speak, of course, of the subgenre entitled deathcore. To be fair, the album wasn’t bad, but the implications were a bit frightening. As it turns out, we need not have worried.
4 years and a complete band change later (excepting vocalist and band leader Sven de Caluwe), a practice that has become too commonplace is the world of Aborted, we have received the cure to what ails you, in case Strychnine had given you the disheartening deathcore sniffles. Indeed, it’s genuinely pleasing to report that Aborted have returned to those stomping grounds of yesteryear, having stitched together a wonderfully diverse monstrosity with Global Flatline. Alongside the new Cryptopsy, it does my heart good to welcome back not one, but two legendary death metal bands back into the folds of good taste (though Aborted only stepped into crap-town for a smoke and a chat, while Cryptopsy up and moved shop).
Under first impressions, it felt like the band had gone back to the purely intense, unstoppable chainsaw grindhouse they inhabited up through Goremageddon, but shovel deeper into this inviting grave and it becomes clear that Aborted have logically attempted to unite their various influences under the banner of brutality. The songs are much more structured than your average cut from the early years, and are a bit easier to listen to and comprehend, without feeling in any way like a cop out. There is more than enough hurried blasting, but the songs are well constructed, flowing nicely between the obligatory merciless bludgeoning and a predilection toward ingrained melody circa Slaughter and Apparatus, and even a bevy of choppy, rhythmic infatuations from Strychnine, though they are surrounded by a lot more window dressing in the form of strong riffing and truly inventive solo’s.
There is an impressive array of songs on display here, each with an identity of its own, thanks to an even parsing out of strong riffing ideas and the ceaselessly inventive drumming of Ken Bedene. Global Flatline starts ripping up corpses right out of the gate with unchained hacking and chopping. The Origin of Disease needles along with psychotic precision into a melodic, alien midsection. Shorter tracks like Fecal Forgery and Of Scabs and Boils are rhythmic clinics and skewering riffing vortexes, while Expurgation Euphoria and Endstille paint epic scenes of apocalyptic, gore-ravaged earth. Every track has something different on offer, and all impress equally, without a loser in the bunch.
A number of guest vocalists pepper the production, including Julien from Benighted, Jason from Misery Index, and Trevor from Black Dahlia Murder, a personal favorite, though I wish he’d had a bigger part to play than the small consideration in Vermicular, Obscene, Obese, just one of the happy ditties featured on Global Flatline. As one would no doubt expect, the lyrics are as sick as ever, continuing to take cues from the Carcass school of medical death metal in concocting lyrical dissertations on situations of extreme medical conditions, stories exploding like pustular pockets of rancid feces and other appetizing conditions. Ready the white coats, as a glance at fun song titles such as Fecal Forgery and From a Tepid Whiff will make the sphincter quiver in anticipation.
I did have a slight issue with the production. The instruments are all quite balanced and audible, but as usual within metal, the bass could have used a boost in volume. Besides that predictable aspect, however, I feel that Sven’s vocals, particularly his throaty, incomprehensible growls, sound very unnatural here. There is some kind of obscuring studio effect that really steals the raw savagery from the man, and it’s an issue that remains prevalent throughout, a constant irritation. Also, like most frantic death metal, it will take a number of spins in order to truly appreciate, and it continues to grow on me; always a good sign.
So, aside from a couple minor annoyances, I’d have to say that Global Flatline is exactly what Aborted needed at this stage of their career, a balanced, well-produced, modern bludgeoning that both strengthens and freshens up their established sound. Slaughter and Apparatus has been my favorite Aborted album since its release, and it still edges this one out, but I have a sneaking suspicion that this could change, given time. My enjoyment of it is about equal to Archaic Abbatoir and Goremageddon at the moment, but I find I like it more all the time, so it could very well surpass those albums, a real feat. I can’t believe I’m typing that, but that’s the present truth of it. Time will tell, though. Time always tells. It’s certainly their best sounding record by a mile. Truly, I can’t think of who wouldn’t enjoy this one, unless you just dislike death metal altogether. If you’re a prior fan, and don’t think Aborted have been doing enough rampant killing of late, this will probably satiate your blood thirst. It’s the same story if you’ve been with the band this whole time, like me, and as it’s such a balanced mix of their established elements, it’s also a sweet place to start for any new worshippers. Don’t you love it when everybody wins?
-Left Hand of Dog
Aborted's "Global Flatline", a release that looks promising to say the least. I can say for the most part that this has topped their previous work, everything on this instalment is clear, organized and neat. Putting that aside, it also packs a brutal punch with some nice grooves and licks that are sure to knock the socks off any death metal alike. It's what you'd expect from any Aborted album, dialogue fillers and then the brutal riffs and drum beats, the shitting on religion and singing about nasty surgeries and nailing some chick through the cunt with pure steel. This is a real treat to Aborted fans, new and old.
Aside from the typical Aborted we all know and love and what to immediately expect on this album, there has been a lot of changes. For one, everything sounds so clean and clear and organized, there's never a moment where you feel something is off beat or cluttered, instead you feel like you're getting a solid death metal quality. It's nothing like "Goremageddon" where you feel like everything is being played through a plastic tube, instead it's as if the band had received an awesome upgrade, modern and yet awesome.
Everything has totally improved and Aborted, as a band, have gone a long way and look at them now! Powerful, perfect band chemistry and unity, killer tracks and they can make a hell of a good album. The only issue I have with this is that it's somewhat predictable, you know what the band is going to sing about, nothing more an nothing less. You know what the lyrical content will be and you know exactly what's going to go down. I'm just asking for a little bit of originality here, then again it proves they're sticking to their roots. Other than that, the Belgian boys know how to please their fans and stay true to their roots. Buy this if you wan't to break your neck.
Ladies and gentlemen, those crazy Belgians Aborted proudly present the soundtrack to the end of the world. Aborted's sixth full-length to date is without a doubt their most impressive as far as my now bleeding ears are concerned. The first thing that struck me about Global Flatline is just how bad-ass it is, Aborted are really going for the throat this time around, bludgeoning anyone who cares to listen to death with a furious, mechanical drum battery, littered with stupendous lead guitar work, face numbing bass, devastating riffs and vicious vocals.
Take the best parts of early to mid-period Carcass, add a spot of slower Morbid Angel à la "God of Emptiness" and a virulent injection of Hour of Penance/Fleshgod Apocalypse plus a spot of Benighted, and you have the mayhem Aborted have crafted for us all to hear on Global Flatline. The album kicks off after a short intro with the title track, an assault of light speed double kicking dispersed with heavily palm-muted guitar stabs laying the groundwork for the devastation to ensue and once it explodes the band don't really let up. We have furious odes to madness such as "Fecal Forgery", and slower paced killers like "Expurgation Euphoria" which splat your face like an anvil launched from a cannon.
The band utilize their melodic tendencies as well in the album closer "Endstille" with some frighteningly well done guitar leads and harmonies, making for an incredible end to the album. As a bonus for those who bought the special edition you will find to newly recorded versions of "Nailed through Her Cunt" and "Eructations of Carnal Artistry" to end the proceedings, which for my money are superior versions.
Overall, Global Flatline is an utterly devastating release, and I was really surprised by the quality. The only slight downsides are that the vocals can be ropey in places, maybe a little too modern, however the quality of the music hammers this downside into nigh on nothingness. As with Primal Fear setting the standard bar for power metal, Aborted have thrown down the gauntlet for extreme/death metal. A jolly good slaughtering, recommended!
Originally written for http://www.metalcrypt.com
The year of 2003 was of great importance to me. It was the year that I first discovered Aborted through their legendary album “Goremageddon: The Saw And The Carnage Is Done“. “Goremageddon” was a showcase of how a group of lunatics who listened to far too much Carcass could effortlessly blend together relentless and uncompromising brutal death metal with catchy melodic leads and hooks together to create a sound that very few people were prepared for, and one we have not heard since then. That album helped put Aborted on the map and became a must-have album in the world of death metal as a whole. The music was so razor sharp, bombastic, violent, and guttural that it remains my fourth favorite album of all-time. While their subsequent releases of “The Haematobic EP” and “The Archaic Abattoir” were pretty good in their own right, they couldn’t hold a candle to what “Goremageddon” had achieved. Since then, Aborted has been plagued by unstable line-ups, which I blame for giving us sub-par albums like “Slaughter & Apparatus: A Methodical Overture” and “Strychnine.213“. With Sven de Caluwé (vocals; System Divide) being the only original member left in the band I can imagine it being very difficult to find a working musical formula when a line-up can barely be kept for over a year. However, when I read things from the band exclaiming that their new record, “Global Flatline,” was more of a “return to form” to their old days of brutal death metal, a glimmer of hope formed in me. Could this be the bounce-back that I have always dreamed for Aborted?
“I’m gonna fucking rape your soul!“ Hell yes. That is exactly how I want to be greeted when listening to a band such as Aborted. Come at me full speed with scalpels akimbo, hacking and slashing at my ear drums. After a short introductory track you are immediately bombarded with that sample, Sven’s dominating growl, furious riffing and plenty of blastbeats in the title-track, “Global Flatline”. It is a very promising start to how Aborted may very well have gotten their edge and aggression back. While their thirteen frantic homicidal tales are weaved through gore-laden imagery and more brutal death metal one could shake a stick at, the melody that I loved about this band remains intact, and is in no way forced into sections it does not belong. While this album may not stand up to “Goremageddon” levels of adventurous riffing, it has many moments of its own that makes you appreciate “Global Flatline“.
Aborted have crafted a very well-done combination of brutality with the main passages with melodic leads being thrown on top of toe-tapping rhythms, and would normally segue into a stylish solo. Normally formulas like this would grate on my nerves after a while, but I found that every song had its own unique way of keeping the familiar progressions nice and fresh for the listener. I’ve listened to this album several times now, and there aren’t any portions of the music that I find to be hackneyed or stale. They have really turned their style into a wonderful hybrid of brutal melodic death metal, and I have a feeling this album can actually gain quite a few new fans if they like tracks such as “The Origin Of Disease,” “From A Tepid Whiff,” and “Of Scabs And Boils”. Even though the melody is quite prevalent in this album, fans of their older brutal style need not be disappointed, as this album has many moments that are reminiscent of “The Archaic Abattoir” with a much more modern death metal take on it. One element of this album I found quite enjoyable were the slams thrown into the music for good measure. They are used pretty sparingly and are never the main focus of the music. They come at points where it fits in very well with the atmosphere and enhances the music greatly. I am also sure the last track, “Endstille,” will surprise quite a few listeners with its soothing melody and apocalyptic atmosphere. If you buy the Limited Edition of this album when it is released, you will be treated to two re-recorded bonus tracks: “Nailed Through Her Cunt” and “Eructations Of Carnal Artistry” from their legendary opus “Engineering The Dead.”
The production values of “Global Flatline” are top-notch and mixed beautifully. Really, I don’t know how I can put it any better. All of the riffs are crushing, the leads and solos are crisp and razor sharp, the bass guitar is audible and has a nice crunch to it, Sven’s vocals and multiple vocal layering are very powerful, and Ken Beden’s drumming is superb. My only issue with the production is very minor, but sometimes the faster and lower-note staccato riffs can get buried underneath the bass drums and Sven’s vocals. I think that was something that could not be avoided as this album is very bass-heavy, and if you combine that with the modern guitar tone then there are bound to be some clashes here and there. There is also one part of the mixing that I am not happy with, but I’ll explain more below so as not to spoil anything.
Now, I want to spend some time talking about Sven de Caluwé’s vocals. I always found him to have one of the best voices in death metal as it is completely recognizable, making his guttural spewage to be a huge trademark of the Aborted sound. While he may have legendary status in my eyes, the last two albums he did made him sound utterly uninspired and flat. Not only was it a chore to slog through the droll and generic death metal on those records, but Sven’s vocals sounding the way they did just really turned me off from the band. I know it sounds harsh, but that is how I felt after seeing one of my favorite bands release two boring albums in a row. But, I don’t know what the hell happened to him in between “Strychnine.213” and “Global Flatline,” but whatever it was, keep doing it. Sven sounds more alive on this album than he has in nearly seven years. His deep guttural growls sound absolutely visceral and filth-ridden. His screams are as tormented as a vulvectomy with no anesthesia. This is Sven de Caluwé at his very best, and he is who you get on “Global Flatline“.
Speaking of vocals, once it was told that there would be guest spots by vocalists like Trevor Strnad (The Black Dahlia Murder), Jason Netherton (Misery Index), Julien Trechan (Benighted), and Keijo Niinimaa (Rotten Sound) I was very intrigued to say the least. After not being supplied with any information on which tracks they appear on, I had to listen through the album several times to try and make them out, and I was able to determine which track each of the four appeared on, and goes as such: Jason Netherton (“Grime”), Keijo Niinimaa (“Our Father, Who Art Of Feces”), Trevor Strnad (“Vermicular, Obscene, Obese”), and Julien Trechan (“The Origin Of Disease”). The three of them certainly made their time with Aborted very useful since they did great on their respective tracks. Although I do wish that Keijo could have done more than just be a part of the chorus. Julien’s gutturals and Trevor’s screams are both delivered in very similar manners when compared to Sven’s, so when they are mixed the same way it was very difficult to tell them apart. I wish the engineer would have tried to make Julien and Trevor stand out more on their tracks, because if you hadn’t known they were supposed to be on the album, you never would have noticed in the first place.
It has been almost nine years since “Goremageddon: The Saw And The Carnage Is Done” was originally released. It will always be the definitive Aborted album in my mind, and while “Global Flatline” has done a lot to redeem the band from their previous blunders, it is not on par with “Goremageddon“. The reason for that is because that era of Aborted is dead and buried, never to return. Until “Global Flatline” was thrusted upon my ears, I always hoped that we would get another “Goremageddon,” but now I’m glad that the band has moved on. They’ve moved on to bloodier pastures and found a new mixture of guttural brutality with unrelenting and moving melody that grabbed me with its sharp meathooks that wouldn’t let me go. The only real hiccup was Trevor Strnad and Julien Trechan being very difficult to identify, but despite that mixing error, my standards for this record are very high, that is pretty damn good. My needs were met greatly and I even gained a new perspective on Aborted, and they are back with a vengeance.
Originally written for Metal Blast (http://www.metalblast.net/)
For a while we saw Aborted tipping on the firm line between death metal and deathcore. Their roots heavily lad-ed in Brutal Death Metal, not many were welcoming the change. Aborted's 2008 release, Strychnine.213, saw scorn and appall from fans and review sites alike with very few embracing the metalcore/deathcore-esque style unleashed, leaving us to ponder if this was the new direction the Belgium band decided to stick to. Well, let me just say that whichever side you took... you were right.
The intro track to this album does it's job. It sets the atmosphere for the rest of the album, incorporating haunting synths and an audio clip that mimics a news broadcast, spreading tale of the horrific outbreak of disease. And then you're shoved into the midst of the fall of humanity.
The title track of this album is an adrenaline pumping, bone chilling explosion of chaos. The track starts off slow, with deep, low driving guitar riffs and base lines before erupting into unholy pandemonium at the declaration of "I'm going to fucking rape your soul!!!". Gripping and unrelenting, the crushing bass can take your breath away.
Tracks 1-5 are heavy with unholy bass drops which clash thunderously with the frantic guitars, tracks "The Origin of Decay" and "Coronary Reconstruction" standing out amongst the five. However, these are also the tracks that see the most disappointing solos of the album as they sound cut-off, and most of them use the same scale and take on a more Melodic Death tone.
Frenzied, yet melodious and solid, the material is accompanied by a mix of Sven de Caluwé's long missed gutterals and the new, cleaner Deathcore style. The two tones play well off of each other, sometimes giving the sense of two singers from how layered the tracks become. Incorporating various audio clip tie-ins has always been a trait of Aborted, and that remains standard on this material as well.
Concerning the rest of the tracks, 6-13, the weakest tracks are present. "Of Scabs and Boils" and "Vermicular, Obscene, Obese" have the most Deathcore-esque presence in comparison to the rest of the material presented. Both tracks are upbeat and the heavy bass is absent, along with the use of pinch harmonics and gutterals. The overall tone of these two songs drastically changes from the album's start, and detract from the brutality.
"Expurgation Euphoria" and "Endstille" are radically different from the rest of what is presented on Global Flatline. "Expurgation Euphoria" being a slow track, given both an intro and outro comprised of memorable piano melodies which sandwiches in unfathomable depth both lyrically and musically.
While "Endstille" is made the perfect end track to the album itself. Fading in, all that is heard is a static ridden radio broadcast, followed by a few minutes worth of instrument work only until the best solo of the entire album finally hits. Atmospheric, serious and heavy, the track ends appropriately with a heart rate monitor beeping, and then eventually flatlining.
The rest of the songs presented on this release are standard from what one expects from Aborted, and overall this album is leaning into Brutal Deathcore, a sub-genre that has not very well ventured yet. Including both old and new styles, and even breakdowns, if polished and fine tuned a bit more this could be an improved style for Aborted. Hopefully one of which oldschool fans and new fans alike can share some common ground.
About fucking time. Aborted has dabble in melodic experiments for far too long (not that they were bad, Strychine.213 was pretty good) and has finally went back to their splanchnic roots of goregrind. Goregrind is an oversaturated genre nowadays, with all these back-alley bands that think that a bunch of 900 BPM blast beats, mindless detuned grooves, and horrible guest vocals by frogs, dogs, and bulls make a goregrind band good. It's like an abortion with a kick in the stomach compared to a suction-aspiration one. Well, the master-butcher has returned, and he definitely showed these superfluous dilettantes how to wear the bloody apron and use the power-tools without disemboweling themselves like fucking idiots.
This album is a welcome relief; feels like the goregrind of the old pantheon, tinged with obvious modern (in a good way) influences. This album is great because it completely revitalized the genre, and can easily bring together the veteran metalheads with the younger generation, without causing them to kill each other in order to prove which one's the scenester. It takes the medical-malignancy theme, low-pitched vocals, and firm velocities, chops them up, cooks (or keeps them raw, if you will), and serves it in a dish of blood-drenched human bones and skin.
The album also features solid guest vocals from Rotten Sound, The Black Dahlia Murder, Misery Index, and Benighted, all bands I love. Even though The Black Dahlia Murder's Trevor doesn't really fit in the "grindcore" setting, he still executes his role like a freshly manufactured scalpel, yet to cut the skin. The album starts with some apocalyptic news, a dying heart monitor, and basically impending doom. And that shit delivers. The album feels like being chased by a horde of ravenous flesh-eating zombies, or getting a premature autopsy, whatever floats your boat. Superb songwriting combined with neckbreaking speed with actual song structure is an obvious choice of a soundtrack to a zombie apocalypse.
Aborted definitely delivers in skin-cracking lashing, without killing your ass, but making sure you're going to suffer until the end. Lo and behold, high and low pitches, fast and slow playing, guitar and bass solos. Creepy 80s B-Movie horror-like guitar harmonies and just a general atmosphere of blood, gore, viscera, and everything pathologically erroneous make this album awesome. Relish this goregrind masterpiece; there's enough entrails and guts for everyone to sink their hungry blades and teeth (or... other stuff, if that's your thing) into.
It is not easy creating a good deathgrind album. You need to execute compositions at finger-blistering speeds while always maintaining a strong songwriting structure. Breakdowns and solos get squeesed to a virtual non-existence and if your riffs don't hold up to your speed, all you will end up with is a mediocre fast-paced death release. You have to think back to Fear of Napalm, third track from Terrorizer's stellar debut as a standard for generations to come: instantly groovy, brutal and fast.
When Aborted hit me over the head with this riffcraft carrier of an album I needed a long lie down to recuperate. Every track was memorable, different and above everything else - catchy. Guitars' level of distortion is perfect for this genre, they are sticking to you like gooey rotting zombie flesh in the inferno of nuclear apocalypse. Drums storm you with a wall of assault rifles precision. It's the SWAT team, cleansing the aftermath of the apocalypse. On occasional tracks you will even get a grenade explosion effect - I swear, a couple more listens and I will only be able to play this record pressed against a wall in the corner of a room with a rifle in my lap, oggling the window and the door expecting a pack of flesh-hungry zombies to break in at any moment.
Aborted do something rare for metal scene here - they have guest vocalists from bands Benighted, The Black Dahlia Murder, Rotten Sound and Misery Index on four tracks. I know this from the internet, because honestly, I never would have spotted them myself, despite the fact that I love and regularly rock out to all of these bands. You could blame my inept hearing, but a big part of the reason here is that Aborted's own frontman Sven de Caluwe has an impressive range and goes from ripping screams to low-pitch growls in a blink of an eye. To the extent that the whole album feels like it is performed by two vocalists and when the next guest growler does appear on a track my mind simply goes "well that is just another of Svencho's pitches".
While their immediate partners in crime Misery Index keep a steady foot in reality with occupy wall street and kill all thieves approach, Aborted stick to the tried and true gore aesthetics. It is no joke that one of the catchiest songs on Global Flatline is called Fecal Forgery immediately followed by Of Scabs and Boils. With the cover art, intro track and occasional gorey quote inserts you won't have to go a long way to imagine this as a sort of a concept album with the main themes being putrefaction, malignant ooze and global eredicating decay. The world as we know it is flatlining on us! Quick grab the pedals! Thank god we have Aborted to shock it back into life.
Aborted are back, two years after releasing the very successful Coronary Reconstruction EP. Global Flatline sees the band going back at their older style and it makes up for a brutal beginning of 2012.
If there are scenes which are oversaturated with a myriad of bands playing the same style, and featuring more followers than leaders, then that would be the brutal death metal scene. Aborted never had a huge reputation in the metal world and the fact that they put out some weaker efforts has made their career a bit inconsistent; with past works proving to be more efficient than their recent streak of murdering affairs. In Global Flatline they make no compromise and instead opt for a return to the style that has made them famous, a mix of old school death metal with brutal unrelenting passages, a bit of technical flair and even a few melodies. So the turn for a more interesting style made in their previous EP is here expanded into full-length territory. If you’ve been reading my description of their newest album then you might be asking yourself why I associate Aborted with the brutal death scene, and in fact sometimes this album isn’t leaning towards it, but in the end the favoured backbone of their music tends to be that specific scene. They pick on that formula and constantly improve it by adding different elements, which will make them be considered “only” death metal to some, while even gracing our ears with some calmer and more melodic sections where we can get some rest in the neck area.
But the simple fact is that this band has a lust for gore and a pleasure for hurting their listeners, just look at the zombified populace on the cover art of the album and you’ll understand what I mean. Then hit play and after a small one-minute intro the title track will completely demolish your brain! The beginning of the song is your typical brutal death beating with heavy double bass use just before it explodes in hefty snare hits and blast beats galore. The song’s main riff is quite infectious and to the point, making you bang your head from the start and accompany the hectic tempo changes on the drum department. The solo near the two minute mark is a nice touch and introduces a catchy chorus with dual vocals, falling then into a great breakdown before it melts your face for another half a minute. No time to breathe as the next track, “The Origin Of Disease” keeps the pace on overdrive and the drums in machine gun mode. Again the typical brutal death breakdown is effectively used and the only annoying factor is that strange snare sound, something I can’t sadly avert when listening to this track. Again a small guitar lead is present and the complete array of variations in the drums make me think of somewhere in between the Italians Hour Of Penance and the French Benighted, at least on their last album.
Comparisons to Benighted aren’t that much of a stretch since Sven has lent a hand (or a throat) in past year’s Asylum Cave, and now Julian makes the reverse path by returning the favour here. Other guest vocalists include Trevor Strnad, Jason Netherton and Keijo Niinima, which everything considered are some of the most brutal singers in extreme metal nowadays and their presence only adds more fury to the mayhem already present on this record. The album continues to level the ground with a sheer degree of intensity for the next few songs, with “Fecal Forgery” being the moment where you can actually catch some breath as it falls down into more mid-tempo territory with a nice grooving mid section before it blasts away again. The following, “Of Scabs And Boils”, is a slightly different tune with a more melodic main riff and dare I say some Heartwork era Carcass influence to be found beneath the barrage of double bass. There’s also a slight hardcore influence here, not falling into slam territory though, and the song ends up being rather melodic in the midst of the remaining tracks. This is also where the comparisons to Benighted hit a new high, but still Global Flatline evades the more grindcore and slam based execution of the Frenchmen. If you thought this small piece to be uncanny then “Vermicular, Obscene, Obese” brings back the fury in full force with another hellish attack on the senses, nevertheless being able to retain a good sense of groove. By this point in time the album is only halfway through and you find yourself already gasping for air. The remaining tracks are more of the same that’s been described above with some attention being owed to “Expurgation Euphoria” and the closer “Endstille” for being slow churning burners that still manage to take a heavy toll on you; or “The Kallinger Theory” and “Grime” for their interesting melodic leanings on the guitars.
This album finds itself in borderline territory between your typical death and brutal death metal band, a place where it can fall leniently to both sides with much ease by choosing to be more melodic and less frenzy on one hand, and totally slamming and unrelenting on the other. So this in between approach turns Aborted into an extremely appealing meal for both crowds, and more so catches the band with a renewed will to release quality music. This is a strong offer from a band that’s been as inconsistent as inconsequent in the past years and it might again grab the attention of many fans that had given up on them, as well as fall in the radar of a new legion of willing listeners. Global Flatline isn’t here to reinvent the wheel but it’s damn fun and even catchy, and I don’t mean that in a Six Feet Under way if you catch my drift. The album is very consistent throughout its thirteen tracks and manages to keep your attention for its duration, clocking just below 45 minutes. So if you feel the need for a speeding rush of adrenaline or just a little bit of ambient music to set the tone while torturing your next victim in your well hidden dungeon of gore, try this one out. It’s bound to become your best friend for a few weeks even if you’re not the typical brutal death metal lover. It’s a nice day for a killing, so spin this one… loud!
Originally written for and posted at Riff Magazine
A triumphant return for Aborted. After the less than stellar Strychnine.213, Aborted got their shit together and released the Coronary Reconstruction, a true return to form. Finally, in the year 2012, Aborted bring out Global Flatline, their first full-length for four years. I've been anticipating this album since it was announced. Is it good? Yes! Was it worth the wait? Definitely!
The album begins with a nice intro, made up of some creepy piano music and some sound clips from a news show warning the public about nuclear war. After this intro, it begins. A slow chuggy riff, with a blast beat, then suddenly, "I'M GONNA FUCKING RAPE YOUR SOUL!" and the band proceed to do just that. The riffs are heavier than they've been since Goremageddon. The drumwork consists of mainly blast beats and technical fills. Standard Aborted drumwork, really, not that's a bad thing. The solos are getting more epic as time progresses. Some of Aborted's best solos are on this release. Global Flatline may contain their best solo ever. The bass provides a nice tone under the layers of brutality, but you really have to look out for it.
Perhaps most triumphantly, Svencho is back on the top of his game, following a very lackluster performance on Strychnine. He finally sounds as angry and brutal as he did in the late 90's again. Guest vocals also appear from an all-star cast of extreme metal frontmen. Julien Truchan (Benighted on Origin of Disease), Jason Netherton (Misery Index on Grime) and Trevor Strnad (The Black Dahlia Murder on Vermicular, Obscene, Obese). I'm also told Keijo from Rotten Sound is on this, but I can't remember hearing him.
The band have also made their longest song to date, in the near 6 and a half minute closer Endstille. Most of this track has a dark atmosphere to it, with Svencho bringing his signature vocals about halfway through, before the song fades back into the atmospheric darkness.
Overall, a brilliant return to form from a brilliant band. It's a bit early to say, but this could easily be Album of the Year 2012.
Highlights: Global Flatline, The Origin of Disease, Of Scabs and Boils, Grime
Aborted has got to be one of my favorite death metal bands ever. They are heavy and brutal while also coming up with interesting hooks and riffs to keep you into the music. Not to mention Sven is one kick ass vocalist. I wasn't entirely disappointed with the release of Strychnine.213 but that album was definitely no Goremageddon. It seemed like most of the songs on Strychnine lacked drive and power. Well that's definitely not the case at all with Global Flatline. I can safely say Global Flatline will be one of the major death metal releases of 2012. So on with the review!
Global Flatline starts off with an eerie into track entitled "Omega Mortis." This track sets the stage for a the brutal pounding you are about to receive with the next track, which happens to be the title track. The intro to the title track is very reminiscent of a Suffocation-esque slam section. This is by no means a bad thing at all. The song then begins to pick up the pace and an audio clip bursts in saying "I'm going to fucking rape your soul!" Then begins the aural assault that is Global Flatline.
Everything is great on this album from the vocals to the instrumentation. The guitars have vastly improved from their previous album. There are more intricate riffs and more well written solos. The drums are pounding and really give a great feel to the music. They are fast when they need to be and groovy when appropriate. The song writing on this album is just outstanding. The vocals are amazing as usual and the bassist does his job very very well driving the music forward with heavy undertones. The lyrics are your standard gore filled, misanthropic lyrics that you would come to expect from Aborted.
All in all this album is a must have album for any lover of extreme forms of metal. It's brutal, punishing, and has a catch factor that surprised me very much. I'll find myself humming some of the riffs from this album or saying some of the vocal patterns to myself.
Stand out tracks: "Источник Болезни (The Origin Of Disease)", "Coronary Reconstruction" (Also found on their previous EP), and "Vermicular, Obscene, Obese" (This song has guest vocals by Trevor Strnad of The Black Dahlia Murder!)