Global Flatline

Written by: MST on 12/04/2012 21:24:56

"Surgery is open, no anaesthetic at hand. Shame. What is today's agenda? Ah yes.. Evisceration!" The goremongers in Aborted have the great honor of topping my last.fm playlist. With a backcatalogue consisting of several albums full of quality gore-infused deathgrind, these Belgians have assaulted my speakers many a time, so it is no wonder that I've been quite stoked about them releasing a new album. Fans of the band will know that Aborted have undergone a lot of changes since they formed back in 1995. Massive constant replacements have resulted in a band that kept changing its sound from the goregrind of the debut over the deathgrind sophomore album to the slightly melodic deathgrind of the 2003-2007 releases. Then another replacement round was necessary, and the result was the godawful abomination known as "Strychnine.213", an album that attempted to marry the grind-infused brutal death metal that we know and love Aborted for with slow, boring melodeath. I tend to forget the existence of said 2008 album, but here we are in 2012 with "Global Flatline", the new release following 2010's "Coronary Reconstruction EP" that promised an absolute departure from the melodeath experiment.

It is with great joy that I pronounce Aborted and melodeath to be separated for good. But at the same time fans of the band will notice a slight departure from the deathgrind sound that Aborted are known for. "Global Flatline" is first and foremost a brutal death metal album, but a surprisingly accessible one at that. The album consists of 10 new songs, three re-recorded songs off the "Coronary Reconstruction EP" and two re-recorded (read: completely ruined) Aborted classics. As an added bonus, the album features guest appearances by the vocalists of Benighted, The Black Dahlia Murder and Misery Index on the songs "The Origin Of Disease", "Vermicular, Obscene, Obese" and "Grime", as if Sven "Svencho" de Caluwé and his maniacal vocal performance could ever get boring to listen to. Going from semi-screams to his completely unique forced growls, Svencho utters lyrics revolving around the usual subjects of gore and experimental surgery. Accompanying him, we find a band that delivers with surgical precision, whether they're racing through fast tracks or slowing down to near-breakdown velocities in down-tempo tracks such as "Expurgation Euphoria" and the excellent album closer "Endstille". The record isn't all about brutality though, as the catchy chorus of "Our Father, Who Art Of Feces" proves several times.

So Aborted are a tight band who know exactly what they're doing. But fans of a band will always compare a new record to the band's earlier material and decide whether the new material fullfils the expectations leading up to the release. I am such a fan myself, and while I can certainly see where those that love this album are coming from, it just doesn't do much for me. Perhaps it's the production, courtesy of Jacob Hansen, that makes the brutal music sound a bit too clean. Or it could be the immediate lack of the grindcore influence that we're accustomed to hearing in Aborted's music. It could even be a mixture of those two factors and something completely different, but whatever it is, apart from the few great tracks the album feels sort of same-ish, especially when listening to it often before writing a review of it. And when the album's last two (bonus) tracks are re-recorded versions of Aborted classics, the last excitement I had left in me disappears completely, as those classic songs get completely ruined by a production that just doesn't suit them as well as some over-the-top guttural vocal work by Benighted vocalist Julien Truchan on the new version of "Eructations Of Carnal Artistry" (originally from the classic "Engineering The Dead" record). You're supposed to write music about butchering, not butcher your classics!

Putting my personal tastes and fanboy-ism aside, there's no denying that Aborted are a quality band, and "Global Flatline" is by no means a bad record. I'd recommend it to any fan of brutal death metal, but at the same time I recommend that the band's fantastic backcatalogue be checked out in the process. To end the review on a positive note, "Global Flatline" is a positive surprise. Aborted are back where they belong, and whether they stick to this brutal death metal recipe or return to their roots I sincerely hope that Aborted never stop making music.

Download: The Origin Of Disease, Coronary Reconstruction, Fecal Forgery, Grime, Endstille
For The Fans Of: Misery Index, Benighted, Exhumed
Listen: Facebook

Release date 23.01.2012
Century Media

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