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Genre Blending Crusher - 80%

beardovdoom, November 24th, 2013

Aborted pissed off a lot of fans with the album prior to this. Their raw deathgrind sound was suddenly much clearer but mixed in with other influences and people don't like change. I prefer this style for Aborted, the earlier stuff is good but too derivative of Carcass (shock!). That being said, Jeff Walker does appear on this album on the most Carcass-sounding song (shock again!).

This album has a huge production sound. Everything but the submerged bass sounds massive. Guest drums provided by Dave Haley (Psycroptic), probably the most in demand guest drummer of recent times. His performance is utterly crushing. There's a subtle use of keyboards on here too which adds a nice amount of depth to certain songs without being overdone. The likely influence of the more brutal end of metalcore is probably what infuriates the purists the most though. I'm not proclaiming this to be a masterpiece, but to my ears this is a strong, vicious album with enough variety to keep my interest.

'The Chondrin Enigma' kicks things off with a forboding sample until all hell breaks loose, the drums crash in and it just makes you want to rip someones face off! The only drawback to this album is that every other track isn't quite as good as the last, but just when you think you might lose interest another beast kicks in to reinvigorate you. Not exactly inconsistent but not top notch either. 'Avenious' is a cracking track, probably the most 'mainstream' song on here, as if Aborted could ever be commercially acceptable! Most of these songs have silly long titles (Carcass influence again) so i'll say this: I like tracks 1, 3, 5, 6, 8 and 11 in particular. The Faith No More cover at the end is odd but works....in a peculiar way.

Don't buy this if you're a grindcore/deathgrind purist that only wants things done one way. If you're a bit more open minded and enjoy the previous output of Aborted, give this a go.

Totally overrated - 53%

cataclysm_child, May 10th, 2008

Well, this isn't how Aborted should sound like. Aborted, once Belgium's most brutal death metal band, sound these days like just another mediocre metalcore/melodic death metal band. Their first releases were right at the top. Pure grindcore, combined with sweet and yes ... catchy death metal. Brutal as hell. The perfect example of this was Goremageddon, an album that blows me off my chair every time. Even the often criticised The Archaic Abattoir, was very good. Even better than Goremageddon in my opinion. Allright, there were a lot of metalcore breakdowns, screams and stuff, but is was brutal and at the same time catchy as hell.

Now to this release. Were is the brutality? It seems like it has disappeared. This album is nothing more than a combination between lazy metalcore and very very soft death metal. Every song sounds catchy as hell, but way too catchy. The breakdowns and double bassdrums are totally useless and everything sounds unnatural and fabricated to be commercial.

About the riffs I can't say a lot, because I just can't remember any cool riff from the whole album. It's a bit ironic that the last song of the album, a Faith No More cover song, is the most brutal song on the record. But I have to admit that they play the music again very smoothly. The drums are fantastic, as always, the guitar sound is cool and the vocals are again very skilled. But the music as a whole is simply not good enough and certainly not memorable. Only the production and the skilled musicians save this album from being a total disaster.

All by all this is a forgettable release and Aborted should urgently think about their future as a death metal band. Allright, metalcore fans will like this very much, but I think they are losing lots of their early period fans when they continue on this road.

Musicianship: 18/20
Originality: 4/20
Songwriting: 5/20
Production: 18/20
Lyrics: 8/20
= 53/100

The Knee-Bone's Connected to the... something - 80%

Frankingsteins, September 27th, 2007

The newest album from Aborted continues in the same vein as its predecessor, moving towards a pleasing fusion of melodic death metal and the brutal goregrind of their earlier albums. The resulting concoction reaches its zenith here, heavy enough to satisfy long-time fans and without the frightening brain-hammering that would put off queasier newcomers. This Belgian band’s transition from gore-obsessed noise to something more musically accomplished and traditional follows directly in the bloodied footsteps of the disbanded Liverpool band Carcass over ten years earlier, and the inspiration is fully acknowledged through a guest performance by Carcass’ Jeff Walker on two songs, allowing Aborted complete freedom to rip his band’s sound off almost completely.

‘Slaughter and Apparatus: A Methodical Overture’ is more than a simple ‘Heartwork’ clone, though the sonic similarities (right down to some identical sounding riffs) make it a fitting modern-day tribute, depressingly showing just how little progress has been made since that definitive and massively influential 1994 opus. Aborted’s take is naturally heavier, as the band’s departure from a purer strain of brutal death metal hasn’t taken away the edge they possess over the hordes of poor imitators, complete with tediously shocking subject matter. Aborted’s own niche has always been its thematic focus on surgical abominations and malpractice, but this gimmick is noticeably less present here than it was a few years back when each song title competed with the last in the vomit-inducing stakes. There’s an obvious degree of maturity here that finally catches up to the band’s technical skill, and the fresh blood of relentless session drummer David Haley keeps the energy level consistently high throughout its exhausting forty-two minutes, the band’s longest album to date.

1. The Chondrin Enigma
2. A Methodical Overture
3. Avenious
4. The Spaying Séance
5. And Carnage Basked in its Ebullience
6. The Foul Nucleus of Resurrection
7. Archetype
8. Ingenuity in Genocide
9. Odious Emanation
10. Prolific Murder Contrivance
11. Underneath Rorulent Soil

As a sign of the greater focus on musicianship over cheap shocks and competitive heaviness for heaviness’ sake, gone are the overlong film snippets and voice samples that used to dominate the early parts of songs, restricted to a couple of brief introductory samples at key points. The album builds up anticipation with some nice distortion and American news broadcasts about something or other before the band lets rip. Haley’s drumming is extremely prominent, which can actually become a little irritating in its repetitiveness at times; although he makes excellent use of the bass pedals to provide a spine for the album’s rhythms, his frequent skin assaults (it’s hard to describe this band without slipping into medical terminology) conjure the image of a bloke beating the hell out of some metal bins, which isn’t really to my taste and is a little horrifyingly reminiscent of Metallica’s last album. Nevertheless, the production job is flawless, providing a great depth and volume that’s necessary to get across the full power of the band, and their roots in technical death keep the guitars of Matty Dupont and Seb Purulator (not his real name) a focal point that speeds through multiple interesting and organic changes each minute without spiralling into excessive fret masturbation. Most songs feature some impressive lead sections that bring the Carcass influence to the forefront, and a few feature some highly enjoyable solos in the classic style, as opposed to the squealing discordance practiced by most death metal outfits.

Vocalist Sven de Caluwe is one of the more impressive in his field, here alternating between a standard gurgling grunt and a more aggressive yell that comes across sounding a lot like In Flames’ Anders Fridén, especially when the silly electronic distortion is added in track eight. Sven fortunately avoids any kind of metalcore ‘clean’ vocals that would really rob the album of its ferocity and spoil even its less brutal moments, but even the move on from a permanent grunting style ought to annoy some purists. While some songs stick to the older wall-of-sound style fairly rigidly, such as the second track and some of the even stronger pieces towards the end, most are eager to try something new, even if Carcass and Arch Enemy had already been there long before. ‘Avenious’ is the first to venture into truly melodic territory, leaving much of the brutality behind in favour of blending aggression with pleasantly high guitars, and as usual I much prefer these slightly slower, more thought-out pieces to the often mindless brain-crushing riffs of the shorter songs. The album makes excessive and distinctly odd use of fade-outs for around half of the songs, some of which are improved by the drawn-out conclusion, and others of which could just as easily have ground to a halt before getting on with the next. The greater focus on crafting intricate songs also works to keep the album entertaining throughout, only really failing with the very last track which seems to drag on for the last couple of minutes and run out of steam, which makes for a bit of an anticlimax.

‘Slaughter and Apparatus’ sees Aborted continuing to claw their way out of the niche they very effectively formed with their cultish early albums, aiming for a wider audience that would greatly enjoy this continuing change of direction for the band. There are enough groove-driven riffs to make it appealing to even the most brain-dead Pantera fan, and it successfully flirts around the spiteful metalcore trend without selling its soul. Hopefully, angry kids will start listening to this sort of music instead, allowing those fallen melodic death bands to come back from the dark side, and making everyone a lot happier. As expected, it’s near impossible to discern what Sven is growling about in these eleven songs, only really becoming intelligible when he yells, but whatever the hell he’s angry about, it’s impossible not to concur with him wholeheartedly.

Aborted - Slaughter & Apparatus: A Methodical Over - 89%

Invaginator, June 16th, 2007

The new Aborted had been announced as the kick ass killer release of 2007, and many people including me didn't actually know what to expect. Since 'Goremageddon: The Saw and the Carnage Done' in 2003 I have always been expecting a follow up to that one, and The Archaic Abattoir in 2005 was something of a big change in the music of the band. As 'Goremageddon' was an ultra brutal version of Carcass' 'Heartwork' (and hell yeah, I love that release as much as 'Heartwork' itself), so was 'The Archaic Abattoir' a new approach from Sven De Caluwe and Co. They simply went with the time, and it seems they evolved their style from just hammering and battering to musicianship that would make most Brutal Death Metal bands jealous.

And now most bands should be jealous as aborted released 'Slaughter & Apparatus: A Methodical Overture'. The title is almost as long as the 2003 release', and the concept is almost the same - murder, pathology, surgery and sickness in general. But the music has new elements, new ways of being a way to destroy your senses and ears. Aborted attack now from a totally different angle. They now use melodies more frequent and still combine them with a massive wall of sound. It's as if you were banging your head against a thick wall of concrete and your head was left just a mass of pulp and blood. Some of the solos remind me of 'Goremageddon', but it's almost as if a new core was formed in the band. It may be mostly to the replacing of the bassist and drummer. Psycroptic's David Haley did the drums for this effort, and he did a hellova job. His drum work this time was a real surprise to me, as I expected him to just do the same he does in Psycroptic, but he has done his job as if he was a full member of Aborted. Sadly, this was just session work, and Aborted are still looking for a full time drummer.

The best way to describe 'Slaughter & Apparatus: A Methodical Overture' is as a hybrid of 'Goremageddon' and 'The Archaic Abattoir', but a better 'Abbatoir' this time, and a more melodic 'Goremageddon'. This now is also the longest effort of aborted to date. The 43 minutes of play show that the band spent much time in generating great arrangements and creating the best possible music since the forming in 1995. While some folks enjoy more the brutal period of this band, 'The Purity of Perversion' and 'Engineering the Dead', it's no secret that this band gained a huge following with their now more melodic and Carcass-like Death Metal. And now they will gain fame with this release. Aborted succeed to impress, and you should be highly impressed.

Good-time brutality - 80%

Armchair_Philosophy, May 9th, 2007

When I bought this I was being told by everyone that it was second rate beside Goremageddon. I have barely heard that album, so I guess you could say I went in with a clear head.

Slaughter & Apparatus is brutal, plain and simple. It delivers exactly what I want from Aborted. The catchy grind grooves sound very refreshing to me in a scene full of technical-for-technicality’s-sake death-core bands.

The production here is heavy as hell. I’ve read a few reviews that saw Tue Madsen did a too “clinical” job. The guitars may be a little on the modern side, meaning that they’ve sacrificed mid range and crunch for low end heft. The drums are also a little low, most likely due to the fact that (I believe) the drummer on this was a temporary hired gun. But all in all, the mood set by this sound is dark and disturbing, and it matches Aborted and this album quite well.

The only real bone I have to pick with Aborted on this one is the lyrical delivery: they often write lines that don’t quite fit with their vocal parts, so they either squash or cut off the words. It’s annoying for that one time you actually read along, but after that it’s really no big issue. There are actually some catchy lines in there, and contrary to a lot of people, I really like the shouted vocals that counterpoint the guttural ones.

I wouldn’t recommend this if you only have money for one album, because in the end it isn’t that memorable, but it’s damn heavy and it’s damn fun. To listen to while playing video games, working out, or performing surgery.

Still Going Strong! - 90%

noveltyxcrosses, May 2nd, 2007

Belgium's finest death metal band, Aborted, have released yet another excellent album. "Slaughter and Apparatus" is the fifth album they have put out so far, and it shows that the band is still improving their sound. They may not be the deathgrind that they used to be when they kicked off their career, but even with a change of sound overtime, they prove themselves to be strong and dedicated.

This band displays some of the finest musicman ship on this album. First off, the drumming is excellent, even if the drummer isn't a part of the band. Psycroptic drummer David Haley goes behind the kit and just blasts like crazy, but not on complete overdose. Also, Sven's vocal range is what makes this band so special. Whether it's a low-pitch guttural style, or his higher pitched shouting vocals, you can't deny that this man is a genius when it comes to vocalists. The guitar melodies are still excellent as ever, and they still mix in the melodeath style with the crushing deathgrind riffs in the vein of Carcass. Oh, and speaking of Carcass, Jeff Walker makes an appearance on the track "Odious Emanation", so those that miss Carcass can know that Walker still does his thing excellent.

If you are looking for an album with crushing riffs, loads of melody, excellent vocal range, and some of the finest drumming, "Slaughter and Apparatus" is the album for you.