Review Summary: Another bone shattering effort from the Belgian titans
Of all the bands playing this new-school style of death metal that purport to be the wildest, heaviest and most brutal on the planet, Aborted’s claim is as valid as anyone’s. Their musical output is like a sonic companion piece to a massacre, only far more manic and with even more blood than you’d expect. As opposed to the totally boring and cliché
panic of your everyday mass shooting, Aborted prefer the sound of gullets severing, teeth gnashing and bones cracking. Par Olofsson’s unmistakable artwork is rarely more appropriate than here – hacksaws, ice-picks and power drills are Aborted’s weapons of choice – as disembodied victims litter the street and the stench of putrefaction trickles through the air. You could never accuse this of being innovative or even original music, but just like a charmingly over-the-top horror film, The Necrotic Manifesto
succeeds on just about every level that it needs to.
The Necrotic Manifesto
begins with an amusing little sample, as delicate keys, strings and choir vocals give way the sound of people running and screaming for dear life. Evidenced by the purposely hilarious samples, you’re making a huge mistake if you intend on taking the album or its subject matter seriously. Containing aggression and brutality in droves, the album has one primary objective behind it, to be fun. The guitar work consists of the usual, fast-paced, modal riffs and tremolo lines that we’ve all heard before, with occasional chugging and pinch harmonics thrown in to liven up and diversify the experience. There are also a number of solos throughout the album, but they seem to operate more as releases than climaxes, none of them being particularly engaging in their own right. The vocal performance is initially impressive, but begins to grate towards the end of the album. While Svencho’s high range is as impressive as ever, the constant layering and studio trickery saps a lot of the raw energy his vocals bring. Ken Bedene’s drumming, as expected, is ridiculously fast and dexterous but not overtly expressive or infectious. There are a multitude of opportunities here for him to implement something a little left of centre, but he seems content to fall into line with the rest of the band as part of a well-oiled machine of sorts.
It’s apparent that the band works best as a collective unit, and this is reflected in the production. Though predictably brickwalled, the instruments are well balanced, each of them feeling punchy and filled out. The Necrotic Manifesto
is very much an in-the-moment
album as a result, with the riffs and drum patterns enjoying a larger focus than extensive song-progressions. This isn’t to say the song writing is pedestrian, however. Just like Aborted’s previous material, the song writing patterns are frenetic and varied from track to track, but only with the intention of accentuating the sonic madness of the instrumentation. “The Extripation Agenda” and “Chronicles of Detruncation” are good examples of the album’s riff-centric nature, but could be substituted with similarly appropriate examples in an album full of highlights, if truth be told. Relentless throughout, The Necrotic Manifesto
borders on exhausting at times. “Die Verzweiflung” is by far the slowest track on here, and does well in breaking up the album for the sake of the listeners’ sanity. The closer “Cenobites” is the only track in which song progression is emphasised over the instrumentation, and is unsurprisingly one of the strongest and most instantly recognisable. However, the idea of Aborted shelving brutality for refinement would essentially defeat the purpose of everything they stand for. Indeed any musical ceasefires found throughout are more of an intermission for the audience than any voluntary attempt to delve into progressive territory.
Aborted’s latest effort will not change the minds of detractors or bring anything particularly new for admirers, but nevertheless should sate most peoples’ desire for carnage. Now eight full lengths into their career, the band aren’t showing any signs of creative listlessness, still more than capable of shattering skulls and pulverising internal organs. The instrumentation is unyielding, the songs are unpredictable, and overall intensity is intoxicating. The Necrotic Manifesto
is not a masterpiece by any definition, but is a more than competent example of contemporary death metal.