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Great Effort, Still Lacks - 75%

VilliThorne, February 21st, 2012

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.