“Just when you thought it was safe to listen to death metal…”
The above tagline, which adorns the physical copies of Aborted’s latest EP Termination Redux, is rather apt for the band. Aborted are a fairly well established act within the death metal scene, however 2014’s The Necrotic Manifesto heralded something of a transformation for the band. Whilst their usual death metal foundations remained intact, their songwriting had become noticeably better; riffs were catchier, solos were melodic and searing, and the rhythm section delicately balanced the styles of grindcore and death metal. Having established an Aborted Version 2.0 of sorts, it seems now that they’re ready to really mix things up and produce death metal that is as every bit as gruesome and horrifying as it should be.
Opening track “Liberate Me Ex Inferis” begins proceedings with an ominous spoken word segment. The unsettling dialogue, backed by haunting and stirring strings, makes for a suitably unnerving start to the EP. The title track then kicks down the doors with grinding blasts of down tuned guitars and blistering drumwork- the combination of string bends and tremolo picking allows the guitars to conjure sick and twisted riffs with ease. It goes without saying that Aborted are the true masters of the breakdown, they use this oft maligned technique to make their songs truly brutal and punishing for the listener, rather than boring them with a lack of creativity. Dark piano melodies and haunting guitars create a suitably bleak backdrop for frontman Sven De Caluwe to experiment with black metal inspired vocals that are deathly and necro in equal measure.
Follow-up “Vestal Disfigurement Upon The Sacred Chantry” maintains the intense drumming and creeping riffs which the band execute with aplomb. The track flails and lurches with grotesque squeals and roars before letting rip with a vicious guitar solo. “Bound In Acrimony” relies less on ornate flourishes, and instead deals with no-nonsense death metal fury. Taut, muscular riffs blend with high velocity blast beats and bruising bass lines to provide infectious grooves, before plastering the listener to the floor with hefty slams and churns. The final track “The Holocaust Reincarnate”, builds upon slithering guitar work and frantic tempo changes before the song descends into a haze of white noise.
Despite only really having four proper tracks, Termination Redux is still a rewarding listening experience for death metal fans old and new. The sharp and crisp production, coupled with phenomenal musicianship will keep a younger audience enthralled, whilst the adherence to old-school death metal values will delight any veteran death metal fan. The introduction of a few new ideas keeps the songs fresh and engaging throughout, and serves to show that Aborted stand head and shoulders above their peers. The resulting full-length release should be very exciting indeed.
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