(This is the second of two reviews we’re publishing today of the new album by Aborted. Andy Synn is the author of this one. And if you haven’t yet listened to our premiere of the full album stream, make haste to this location.)
“What is today’s agenda? Ah yes, evisceration!”
Rejoice brethren, for the scions of sickness have returned. Sven De Caluwe and his band of morbid misfits, now featuring ex-Abigail Williams men Ken Bedene (drums) and Michael Wilson (guitar; also in System Divide) have produced a record that picks up where the stunning return to form of Coronary Reconstruction left off.
The new blood has definitely helped re-animate this fetid corpse, as the band bring a renewed bloodlust to the table, delivering all the grinding intensity and raging death metal ferocity one might hope for, carrying over the undercurrent of malignant melody from Slaughter & Apparatus and Strychnine.213 whilst deftly sidestepping those records’ weaker elements.
Sven’s blast-furnance roars and morbid screams cut through the grime like a buzz-saw through rotting flesh, his always distinctive delivery showcasing the versatility of his vocals as an instrument, those vomitous Tardy-esque gutturals and rabid, Jeff Walker-style screeches accented by an Anselmo-level of belligerence, delivered in a gravelly mid-ranged bellow.
After the ominous plague sermon of “Omega Mortis”, the band unleash a raging torrent of bile and brutality, assaulting the listener with unfettered blasting and twisted, gangrenous riffage. Though the album maintains a consistently violent level of attack, there is a remarkable amount of variety portrayed here.
The title track transforms from a sick crawl into a raging monster of unnerving speed and aggression, pierced from within by a maddening, flailing solo, eventually giving way to the lurching ground and pound of “The Origin Of Disease”, where frenzied blast-beats pile up against groaning slow-downs and dark, eerie ambience.
The machine-gun grind and wrenching technicality of “Coronary Reconstruction” is performed with gleeful, anxiety-inducing intensity, insidious anti-melodies bleeding through the cracks as the songs diverges into more unsettling territory. The short, sharp attack of “Fecal Forgery” gives the group a chance to showcase their impressively angular, technical guitar work, blistering flurries of notes delivered with merciless precision, stabbing again and again before shifting its attack, mutating into the pus-filled blast of punk energy that is the Carcass-esque “Of Scabs And Boils”, devastatingly powerful yet virulently infectious at the same time.
Racing through their material at top speed, the band still find time to unashamedly employ some booming, cataclysmic breakdowns of the purest, most death metal kind, which, scattered liberally throughout the record, detonate with consistently lethal force. Conversely the whip-sharp solos which pepper the album pull it in another direction entirely, eschewing the direct bludgeon of the cannibal in favour of the more cold and calculated approach of the serial killer, luring his victims in before delivering the killing blow.
For such a full-throttle, juggernaut of a death metal record, some of the album’s defining moments are found when the band ease back on the throttle. “Expurgation Euphoria” revels in its own repugnance, as slime-drenched chords wash over the listeners, drowning them in a whirlpool of filth and depravity, while the slow, churning maelstrom of closer “Endstille” ends the record on a crippling, doom-laden note, its staggering, claustrophobic pace capturing the terrible cost of existence and the toll of decay, moving from an orgy of tortured melody toward an agonisingly bleak and unforgiving conclusion.
Global Flatline is Aborted’s finest work in years, a masterpiece of calculated insanity and grinding, apocalyptic death metal ferocity.