Written by: RUB on 28/09/2018 10:41:54

Overall, it would seem like 2018 will be a good year for death metal and grindcore; surprisingly many really good releases have already been put out — and there’s still more to come. One of these marks the return of the Belgians in Aborted, who, by now, have firmly established themselves on the most extreme part of the metal spectrum. None of this has changed when I queue their newest outing, “TerrorVision”, and as it has become customary with Aborted, the first track serves as an intro, only to lure the unsuspected listener into their web before erupting into the first proper track of the record, namely the title track.

Off to a very brutal start, everything seems to be as it should be: the soundscape is still very complex, demanding and fast, and the way Aborted mix death metal with grindcore is, simply put, superb. As I’ve recently agitated about in my review of Pig Destroyer’s “Head Cage”, I want my grindcore to be filled with variety, whilst still being very fast, well-structured and awe-inspiring. “TerrorVision” has it all: a neck-breaking tempo, plenty of staccato riffs, brutal breakdowns and blastbeats galore. But perhaps most importantly of all, it has variety. The guitar scales differ so much that I keep finding new details in them even after several spins, and when this is coupled with the clever usage of both breakdowns and other shifts in tempo, it just makes for an excellent opening track. For example, towards the end, there’s a brutal breakdown that gives me some Septicflesh vibes, thanks to the deep guttural growls, the insanely fast double-pedalling, and the eerie sound created with the guitars. This I most definitely hadn’t expected from an Aborted album, but it actually occurs on several occasions, which goes to underline how diverse the record really is, not to mention how grandiose the soundscape comes across as.

The next piece to highlight is “Vespertine Decay”, as this was the first song I really paid attention to, thanks to its nightmarish base riff. Throughout the track, the pace is kept almost invariably extreme, but even though the revered drummer Ken Bedene rarely rests, the band still manages to incorporate some well-placed breakdowns into the fray. But it’s not all about being brutal and extreme for its own sake; the riffs sometimes take on a more atmospheric or maybe even droning approach, thus making the album so much more interesting to listen to, as evidenced by the aforementioned song, for instance. “TerrorVision” also contains some more straightforward death metal bangers, such as “Deep Red” or even “Squalor Opera”. But these still come with a twist that makes them stand out as strong and fierce tracks worthy of praise. This is of course also thanks to the man behind the pipes — the only remaining original member, Sven ‘Svencho’ de Caluwé — whose characteristically sore and raw growls still manage to keep the tracks present on the album sounding familiar, yet also very fresh in both style and composition.

The best tracks here are, in my book, evenly spread out across the album, which makes for an unusually consistent listen. But to be fair, I haven’t fallen on any decidedly bad tracks on the record — it is just that good! If you have read any of my last reviews, you might find my phrasing here a bit tedious since this is not the first time I use it, but to return to my statement from the beginning of this review: there are so many great records coming out of this genre right now. Indeed, by now I have come to realize that “TerrorVision” might actually very well turn out to as a modern classic, and although I thought both “Global Flatline” and “The Necrotic Manifesto” would be hard to beat, “TerrorVision” comes pretty damned close, perhaps even surpassing them in some aspects. The album seems to keep getting better and better with every new listen, and this is mainly due to the impressive (to say the least) soundscape Aborted have managed to conjure up for it. Instead of trying to play as fast, as intensely, and with as much complexity as possible, the band has found the right balance by mixing all of that insanity with interesting effects and clever song structures, and still managed to stay as brutal and extreme as we know them. Aborted have thus pushed the boundaries for what is imaginably possible in the realm of death metal and grindcore, and with a solid and well-produced, well-written, diverse and obviously brilliant album, they’re like an unstoppable force now — one to truly reckon with, if there ever was any doubt. This is a clear contestant for album of the year for me!


Download: Vespertine Decay, TerrorVision, Squalor Opera, Deep Red, The Final Absolution
For the fans of: Benighted, Cattle Decapitation, Dying Fetus, Misery Index, Severe Torture
Listen: Facebook

Release date 21.09.2018
Century Media

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