The Aborted – ‘Global Flatline’ Album Review

Global Flatline

It has been four years since The Aborted’s last full-length album, two since the quite excellent ‘coronary reconstruction’ EP but now Svencho and his troops are back to unleash their unique brand of helium-fuelled death metal once more upon an unsuspecting public. Having formed in 1995, The Aborted are one of the longer running death metal acts still treading the boards, and on first listen to their latest opus, the ambitiously titled ‘global flatline’ it is no surprise that they are widely considered to be originators in a not-uncrowded genre.

Opening with the sound of a life-support machine, ‘omega mortis’ is a creepy, sample laden intro that quickly segues into the brutal title track – a work of remarkable sound and fury. With Eran Segal and Mike Wilson’s guitars sounding like chainsaws at full throttle and Svencho’s vocals seemingly more inhuman than ever, The Aborted sound tight and honed to perfection, with some blistering lead work and a sweet time change that sees them dip briefly into sludge territory before renewing their assault in the final few bars. It’s a stunning opener – as viciously uncompromising as you could wish for and a glorious welcome back to fans whom have been waiting for new material for what seems like an age. Almost unbelievably, ‘the origin of disease’ manages to outmatch the previous track by being even more abrasive and obnoxiously fast. The riffs, chunky despite the speed, simply bludgeon the listener into some kind of dazed, semi-anaesthetised acceptance and this is helped no end by a fine production job which, whilst still raw enough to strip paint from the walls, allows for plenty of separation between the instruments – particularly important when the fine solos are allowed to shine through the dense wall of noise that surround them. Next up is the EP’s fine title track and it is not only every bit as good as we remembered it to be but also indicative of the quality of the album as a whole, with its wonderful opening gambit of “Surgery is open, no anaesthetic at hand… shame! What is today’s agenda? Ah, yes – EVISCERATION!!!” – it’s just simply a great track and a highlight of the album.

Having been blown away by the opening tracks, the question is whether The Aborted can maintain the frantic pace. Happily, the answer is a resounding yes as the band unleash the gloriously unpleasant ‘fecal (sic) forgery’ – a song that not only sounds like a riot erupting in your bedroom but which somehow manages the seemingly impossible trick of being… (and I almost hesitate to say this) catchy. With some great lead work belying the unpleasant nature of the title it’s yet another highlight of the album and then we’re on to the delightful ‘of scabs and boils’ which sees the band introduce some restraint for a slower second half that has both power and melody shot through it. ‘Vermicular, obscene, obese’ offers up no such subtlety – rather it grabs you by the scruff of the neck and shakes until you can take it no more and only then does it release its grip. Vicious. ‘Expurgation Euphoria’ opens with a short but sweet piano introduction that gives it the feel of a classic horror movie – a feeling further reinforced by the Doug Bradley-style voice opener and treacle-thick guitars that make this closer to doom than death metal. It is a startlingly heavy interlude that showcases The Aborted’s versatility before ‘from a tepid whiff’ returns to business as usual with a thrusting double-kick assault and angular, searing guitars.

The final third of the album sees the band unleash hell on ‘The Kallinger theory’ via a mechanistic drum attack, multifaceted vocals and Satan’s own guitar tone providing riffs of devilish potency. Meanwhile the Christian-baiting ‘our father, who art of feces (sic)’ offers up another moment of mosh-pit fuelling clarity with memorable riffs giving a suitably apocalyptic backing to some of Svencho’s clearest articulations yet heard. As the pummelling bass and scything riffs part way for a glorious solo it becomes very clear that on ‘global flatline’ The Aborted are at the very peak of their powers, having crafted an album that is both blisteringly heavy and suitably memorable despite the overwhelming rage and spite shot through the material. ‘Grime’ is an unhinged racket played at mind-numbing speed by sonic terrorists and final track ‘endstille’ is one final ground-out assault upon the senses that closes with the creepiest sample yet found outside of ‘the holy bible’.

Obviously The Aborted’s unrelenting assault will prove to heavy for some, but the chances are that if you are reading this review you already have a fair idea of what to expect. Within the realms of death/grind The Aborted are rightly revered and this vicious slab of brutality will do nothing to diminish the band’s fearsome reputation. If their live shows match the searing quality of the album then they truly will be something to behold, but in the meantime for those who like their metal at the extreme end of the spectrum this is easily one of 2012’s essential purchases. Expect sickness… and revel in it!

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