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Aborym is a band I've always known (or at least up to the point of this album being released) to push the envelope. The first three full lengths Aborym released were all different, each expanding the band's sound further into industrial and electronic territories but still keeping the metal alive and well. So, it almost goes without saying at this point, when I heard in late 2005 that Aborym were releasing a new album, my expectations were high. Was my problem that I simply formed expectations about Aborym? After all, neither Fire Walk With Us nor With No Human Intervention particularly living up to what I surmise might have been the expectations created from the previous albums. However, this doesn't feel all that foreign; quite the opposite. In fact, it feels TOO familiar. Aborym's first 3 albums all possessed a quite foreign and alien atmosphere. That the atmosphere here is quite apocalyptic is reason enough for me to declare this a "good" album, but Aborym weren't a "good" band. They were EXCELLENT. They were innovative. They were trailblazers. Generator sounds too conventional, and that really stung for a while.
If you had asked me when I first listened to Generator what I thought of it, I would have told you that Between the Devil And the Deep Blue Sea and Ruinrama Kollossal S.P.Q.R. (Satanic Pollution -- Qliphotic Rage). Aside from the ridiculous song titles, both songs were flashy and probably the most like Aborym's earlier sound of all these songs. The issue I took was what I feared when I heard that Bard Faust had joined the band as a drummer and that Sethlans had left. I feared that Aborym would "play it safe" with the new band member, and try to use Faust as a selling point rather than an organically (or given Aborym's history, mechanically) integrated aspect of Aborym's sound. In short, the bulk of this album is pretty by-the-book black metal reminiscent of second wave black metal c. 1994 (which happened to be when Faust was last in the black metal scene -- who'da thunk it?) and can't help but feel like a step back from the daring and adventurous albums Aborym had done so far. Over time, I have grown to appreciate Disgust And Rage (Sic Transit Gloria Mundi) for the apocalyptic atmosphere and deadly riffing coupled with bombastic choirs and utterly nihilistic feel, as well as Generator (the song), for actually conjuring up a mechanistic atmosphere for ONCE in this album.
Industrial elements appear here and there, most typified by the ending of the aforementioned Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, as well as the slow, almost like blackened psybient passages with Attila growling and uttering ghoulish bastardizations of sound as usual alternating with moderately fast atmospheric black metal passages with Attila's reliably dramatic stylings in a guest spot (Prime Evil from Mysticum officially replaced Attila for this album, although to be honest his voice is so mixed down and generic, especially compared to all the dastardly things Attila can do with his voice, that the vocals contribute almost nothing to the music except Attila's guest spot). However, these elements feel tacked on, for the first time in Aborym's history, and while the opening to Ruinrama is quite nifty and definitely gets the listener's attention, the rest of the song pretty much becomes generic black metal, and Generator (the song) has some pretty cool riffs but for some reason I felt like they could have done more with them, and the song in general. Suffer Cataclysm is more of the same; that is, generic Bathory worship with a slight early death metal feel that, while excellently performed and executed, lacks character, except for the air-raid siren at the end. I mean the riffs are there and good, but it just feels so goddamn safe and conventional and Aborym aren't supposed to be conventional. And here is my quandary:
On one hand, this is brilliantly executed and has wonderful riffs and the industrial elements that ARE there are quite enjoyable. And if listened to from the perspective of "pure" black metal, the industrial elements are more welcome and far less intrusive than previous albums. However, on the other hand, I just never listen to this except for Disgust and Rage, just simply due to how much ass that song slays, and how merciless and fuckin' evil that song sounds, and how much the rest of the songs pale in comparison. Seriously, listen to that song. The rest of the album may have a few more tricks up its sleeve, but you're not gonna hear anything substantially different from that song, and it's so goddamn "safe" feeling that I might as well listen to the first and second-wave acts this tries to imitate because this does little to differentiate it from those bands with the exception of sparse window-dressing.. By the strength of the former argument, I'd give this a 95. Based on the merits of the latter argument, this is worth hardly more than a 60. At the end of the day, though, I do enjoy listening to this, and must rationally acknowledge that this album is indeed good.
But Aborym are capable of so, so, so much more than good.
You've probably heard of Aborym. Nattefrost once called them a "black metal mafia," they now have ex-Emperor skinpounder/gaystabber Faust in their ranks, and they're clawing their way into relevance as one of the most unique and innovative black metal acts in a great while. Or so you've probably heard. Don't let anyone try to tell you how unique OR innovative Aborym is. Generator may be their most musically accomplished work to date (not that that's hard), but only because it leaches off the musical constructs it's exposed to in the process of bathing in black metal cliches. The album starts with a minute long choral drone. Hey, Aborym? I like it when filler doesn't litter my albums. Just thought I should let you know. Suddenly a spawling tremolo line kicks in under a sample of a Charles Manson rant, the rest of the song typical, ultra-polished new-wave black metal occasionally meandering in industrial beats. Could this be any more marketed to would-be Columbine kids? How is this innovative?
Generator's main selling point is that it's [supposedly] a clean fusion of back metal and electronics, at which the earlier releases were so inept they clearly didn't aspire to be much past "fun" kvlt novelty. Don't buy it, kids. Past their baseless pretention, you can still see the bloody stitches holding all this shit together. "A Dog-Eat-Dog World" is a straight-up TECHNO song, whilst the following track "Ruinrama Kolossal S.P.Q.R." (such cute song titles!) is a plodding, Godflesh-derived apocalyptic industrial stomp, the only thing differentiating it from the countless other similar musical efforts being some contrived pitch harmonic flourishes in the main riff. Squeak.
Aborym wanks into the void for a while longer, until things suddenly begin picking up, if only for a moment. "Suffer Catalyst" begins promising, with a relatively ass-kicking harmonized thrash riff, but inevitably degenerates into some boring tremolo riffs and air-raid siren samples. This is APOCALYPTIC, remember? To be fair, this album does arouse visions of smoking towers and riots, which is a good thing, because if the end of the world means no more music this horrible, I'm all for it. "Between The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea" is made of the same stuff I've been describing up until this point, until some loading gun and footstep samples prior to the rave section at the end. At this point, the vocalist begins heaving out in what could be called clean vocals, "no more heart, no more soul... I am already dead... No hope for salvation... BLEEAAARRGHHH..." Back into Columbine territory already, guys? Although this is a terrible song, I'm sure it will be the soundtrack to a lot of alienated kids' lives in high school, not unlike Rammstein or Mudvayne. A future history lesson when people begin studying goth/emo culture, perhaps.
"Man Bites God" is a rather well known song, not because it's good, but because it features Aborym's old vocalist and infamous voice-whore Attila. He sounds... As Hungarian as ever, I guess. A hell of a lot better than the new guy, whose name I won't even look up on this site for this review, because his name doesn't deserve to be known. He was Mysticum's old singer, and he still sucks. His black metal vocals are more or less a lifeless, mediocre croak, and while that may seem appropriate for such lifeless, mediocre music, I still can't bring myself to enjoy his performance. Malfeitor Fabban now capably handles most clean vocals and choir stuff. (Yes, choir. Because neoclassical automatically means good, right? Right?... Children of Bodom?...) Oh, was I supposed to be talking about a song? Well, it sucks. The album ends with "I Reject!" I guess it's Aborym's attempt at an "anti-everything" anthem. Anti-humanity, anti-society, anti-christ superstar! The beautiful people, the beautiful people... Oh, sorry, wrong sellout.
Generator gets some bonus points for the violent drumming of Faust, only stooping to ubiquitous martial snare rolls once throughout the entire album. It's good to know some of the scene's more famous icons aren't entirely bankrupt of talent just yet. The entire album is amazingly played and amazingly produced, but one has to WRITE good music before dressing it up in the studio. Failure to comply with these terms may result in quality equivalent to that of an Aborym album.
What is Generator? It's another 666 International; It's another Grand Declaration of War; It's another Rebel Extravaganza; It's Thorns sans the unique vision and artistic integrity.
Feel free to whack me now, "black metal mafia."
Too often do people describe a metal album as the “soundtrack to the apocalypse,” simply for the album’s merits in brutality. However, few albums can convey the sheer terror of life in a post-apocalyptic world as can Italy’s Aborym through their latest album, Generator. From the bleak introduction to the fading conclusion of “I Reject!”, the music you find here is a cold, mechanical manifestation of calculated violence and contempt for humanity.
Few bands so skillfully combine raw, hateful black metal with industrial nuances to create such a unique journey through the bowels of nuclear winter. Aborym accomplished this by advancing in maturity. Their previous album, With No Human Intervention, was an excellent fusion of black metal with techno but seemed to lack the serious focus that would drive their opus into the realms of malefic perfection. Not a single sample, choir chant, or Charles Manson quote is out of place and the guitars are simply deadly. Prime evil effuses diabolical vocals worthy of such a misanthropic masterpiece, and he is a worthy replacement for Attila.
This album is devoid of mediocrity; each track contains within itself its own version of an apocalyptic nightmare, utilizing a deadly cold atmosphere which leaves the listener vulnerable to punishing drumming (now by a human, thanks to Faust) and vicious guitar-riffing. Tracks such as “Generator” or “Suffer Catalyst” come at you with explosions of hateful blast-beats and sections of emotional ambience. This method is most successful on “Man Bites God” where an unsettling exposition of keyboards and Atilla’s growls suddenly detonates into a cataclysmic blast volley.
Aborym have reached their apex with this album, their most focused effort to be “generated” from the Italian industrial black metal machine. This is my personal #1 Black Metal Album of 2006 and a must for anyone who likes their black metal with radically new flavors. Own this, and worship.
Aborym have always, in my mind, been an enigma. They are difficult to generalize. You can't say "If you like [band name here], you'll like Aborym."
It is clearly black metal, but in the modern world of metal where every sound imaginable has it's own genre, Aborym stand apart. Basically, take everything you know about black metal and throw it out the window. Start with a foundation of industrial and electronic influences. Build upon that the chaos and catharsis of black metal. Add structure. Refine that sound over the course of 3 albums and you have Generator.
Until now, Aborym have been relegated to the lower tiers of the scene. Often misunderstood and pushed aside, they pressed on creating their own brand of chaos. Finally, it has come to fruition.
From the aptly titled intro, "Armageddon", to the final seconds of "I Reject!" you're taken on a journey through the darkest reaches of the human psyche. There are even a few clips of everyone's favorite lunatic, Charles Manson, thrown in here and there.
Lyrically, you're transported into the future. All is cold and bleak. The world is in chaos and a certain hopelessness has set in. God is dead. All that remains is the hatred that mankind has for himself and god.
The music itself portrays all of this and more. There are few who can create such atmosphere musically these days. The songwriting is top-notch. And the musicians execute each song to near perfection. Rarely is there a dull moment. This album demands the listener's attention from start to finish.
In essence, this is pure, undeniable black metal. In form, it is cold and calculated. In the end, it leaves you begging for more. I don't doubt that we will soon see a slew of clones trying to recreate the magic(k) that we have here.