Review Summary: Gory enough for the Cannibal Corpse-ers, core enough for the Despised Icon-ers.
Gore metal. Grotesque cover art that makes you want to puke and lyrics that enhance the urge. Aborted are no strangers to this abyss of a realm, also inhabited by bloody creatures such as Carcass and Morbid Angel. Strychnine.213 is Aborted fifth studio album, and not a smidgen less gruesome than its predecessors. But can it hold up its own blood?
Opening with a dark intro known as Carrion, Strychnine.213 wastes no time in getting the guitar in there. While most openers are just white noise, Carrion is made up of guitars and unintelligible muttering. Interesting enough, I suppose.
But now things get really good. Ophiolatry On a Hemocite Platter pops out of almost nowhere with a bare bellow “Worship my name!” and proceeds to thud along with dull yet bludgeoning chords along with vocalist #1 Svencho’s garbled growls, which for some unfathomable reason are appealing. Trading off later to vocalist #2 Svenchi’s hardcore scream, the vocals are more various than, say, Cannibal Corpse. So we have brutal death metal churned into a bloody mass with a tinge of core, but wait, what’s that on the horizon? A guitar duet? This isn’t death metal, this sounds like Gothenburg, as if In Flames donated sperm to spawn At the Gates’ child. So as it stands, we’ve got death, core, and Gothenburg, merged into a strange sort of…deathcore, for lack of a better comparison. Hmm.
Ophiolatry is a standout among the tracks, and its posterity, I35 and Pestiferous Subterfuge are adequate, if not great, but are not as gripping. Pestiferous Subterfuge does itself a favor by having an attractive chorus and a particularly good guitar duet (actually better than Ophiolatry’s duet, to be honest). Either way, the following track, The Chyme Congeries, blows them both out of the blood-spattered water. Ironic that the song about feces is one of the better tracks, but that’s how it is. Yes, it’s a song about poop. Almost all vocal doodies* are dropped on Svencho, with his blundering low growl. The only spots where Svenchi gets any glory is when both screamers drop the line “the wrath of my pooper” simultaneously. It blows my mind how a band with a song titled Ophiolatry On a Hemocite Platter can’t think of something more…artistic, than “pooper”. Kind of a mood-killer, if you will. Eh, it’s still the thickest song on the album and the da-da-DUM-DUM guitars are addicting.
After the two best songs on the album (Ophiolatry and Congeries, if you’re not paying attention), the album somehow manages to keep your attention. A Murmur In Decrepit Wits is a bouncing, vigorous horror story so headbang-worthy your hair will grow to your waist just for effect. Enterrement of An Idol is a spike-covered boulder rolling down a hill crushing everything in its path and collecting corpses until ending in a flattened village and a morbidly mournful solo. These are all adequate tracks, but they can’t really hold a cobwebbed candle to Ophiolatry.
So coming forth from a corpse-filled field is Aborted, lugging behind them the bloodstained weapon Strychnine.213, an excellent addition to their arsenal (including Goremageddon, The Archaic Abattoir, and Slaughter & Apparatus: A Methodical Overture.) Metalcore? Dead and buried. Deathcore? Probably digging its own grave. Death-core-burg? Bloody excellent. Very bloody.
After way too much thought, (I must have listened through The Chyme Congeries 3 dozen times,) I’d place Strychnine above Aborted’s previous release, Slaughter & Apparatus, but as an overall rating somewhere between a 3.5 and a 4. It’s a matter of opinion, to be honest. I may be overrating, because I still love Ophiolatry and Congeries, and Enterrement of An Idol is growing on me, but I finally settled with a 4…that’s open to evaluation.
*In retrospect, I’d like to apologize for the horrendous pun in the 4th paragraph.