Aborted
Engineering the Dead

Coming from the same label that is responsible for the excellent Deranged, I had high hopes for this Belgium death metal outfit. Needless to say I was suitably impressed, but not exactly blown away.

A glance at the cover and song titles give you a glaring indication as to what these five medical misanthropes are all about. Sporting the obligatory death metal logo, and a H.R Giger biomechanical presentation, Aborted take you unashamedly back to the heyday of Floridian death metal. This means they belch out some well-crafted, gore-soaked sonic butchery with more than a nod to Cannibal Corpse, Monstrosity, and, in my opinion, early Brutality.

Not exactly flowing with originality, all the eight songs contain all the elements you’d expect from this type of music: guttural vocals, razor-sharp riffing, stop-start time changes, double-bass blasts, slower tempered mid-sections, and a pounding tight rhythm section. It is all nicely produced with very clean “Morrisound” studio sound that allows every note and instrument to be heard and felt. This band has done a nice job of re-enacting the total overall feel of the great Florida death metal explosion. In fact, other than some “Carcass” style titles, and medically-based gore lyrics, I would have been hardpressed to say this band was from Europe without knowing it. Speaking of the lyrics, they claim themselves to be the Ultimate “Goremageddon”. While an interesting claim, I found the song titles and lyrics to be no more than a confusing mix of over-the-top “Abscess” type porno gore (“Skullfuck Crescendo”), sprinkled with medical terminology (“Eructations in Carnal Artistry”). It is as if they could not decide between Autopsy or Carcass as their main lyrical influence. Pretty fitting but unoriginal.

Other than this minor problem, the whole release is all very competent and all the musicians are masters of their craft. The drummer should be mentioned as a he puts forth a stellar performance that binds the whole thing together. Most of the album is blast beats and speedy technical riffing-which is all very well played and equally as brutal as their peers. The slower sections need a mention, unfortunately there is not that many. These more controlled moments are a little different, in that they are far more epic and orchestrated. They really reminded me of Brutality’s Screams of Anguish classical influences (especially the closing riff/solo on “Exhuming the Infested”), not just a chugging interlude for the sake of it. I would love to have had more of these deliberate, powerful intermissions, as they provided a worthwhile, powerful interlude to the blasting speed.

 It’s a real shame I can’t come up with a more imaginative or descriptive review. This is competently played, high-quality death metal. Nothing more, nothing less. Sure, there are some interesting serial killer and zombie movie samples, but they seem nothing more than a an effort to give some well-played but unoriginal death metal some unneeded flare. Fans of any of the bands I’ve mentioned in this review could do no worse than pick up this fine release from this proficient outfit. However, those looking for a more genre bending or ground breaking effort may be disappointed.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
July 6th, 2001

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