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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