There aren't many out there that have been introduced to Aborted and not
picked up on the fact that the band like to write music based on horror, elaborate torture porn and more than just a few real-life murders. That's basically been the go-to source for conceptual inspiration since day one. It's not exactly a hidden meaning either. I mean what else does one think of when looking at album titles such as Goremageddon: The Saw and the Carnage Done
and Slaughter & Apparatus:A Methodical Overture
? Sure, 2014's Global Flatline
hinted at a more political focus, but it's hard to think back on Aborted's discography and not come to terms with the fact that they're simply a band with one source of inspiration to draw from, but which also has a seemingly endless list of ideas.
Well, this year's TerrorVision
absolutely gives you the same impression, even before hitting play. Musically however, it seems that Aborted are stepping up production values and beefing up every instrument so that even if the subject matter isn't so clean, the performance definitely is. Leading preview "Vespertine Decay" is probably a good first example of this. Beginning with a sweeping, atmospheric intro, you'll be forgiven for thinking that Aborted are about to switch tactics and instead opt for a dramatic extreme metal opus in the same vein as, say, Anaal Nathrakh. Thankfully, that's not the case, because half a minute of this isn't quite enough to distract you from how the rest of the song unfolds. On-point precision is the order of the day, the scything main riffs and twisted albeit melancholic solo work inviting moshpits to form but also something to chew and come back to."Lasciate Ogne Sperenza" would have seemed more fitting had it been tacked on to the beginning of the title track, but this doesn't seem to be so much of a placement flaw as it is an introduction to an otherwise chaotic, consistent album. In spite of the overdone vocal delivery (an aspect in this album which can be irritating to a few listeners), "Squalor Opera" tends to be a more grinding listen compared to its surrounding tracks, and "Deep Red"'s erratic pace often brings to mind the more grind-influenced part of thrash, mostly due to how the riffs grind rather than slice through until the end.
Aborted's latest album feels supercharged, but sometimes in favour of aspects less suitable to the band's musical intentions. The aforementioned "Squalor Opera" may be a speedy, frenzied listen, but the vocal performance at times tends to be dodgy and too high in the mix, marring the general precision of the guitar work and thus leading to a muddy result. "Exquisite Covinous Drama" takes a while to build into something both accessible and violent, but in the end too much time taken means that the instrumentation isn't effective enough to justify a five minute length. Making up for the more sluggish parts of the album however are songs such as the near flawless "Farewell to the Flesh" (no prizes for guessing the title's inspiration). Featuring some of the most intricate sounds to emanate from Aborted's fearsome rhythm section, this song sums up both the musical direction that the band are heading in as well as the fact that they can still deliver on all cylinders. Sure, it's still a formulaic listen but it certainly proves how consistent this band can be when they take the time and effort required to make certain songs stand out. The album features more songs with a similar intent, but none quite as memorable as "Farewell to the Flesh".
If Aborted have intended to demonstrate a clear focus on cleaner, more modern-sounding musicianship, than TerrorVision
seems to have delivered on all fronts. This isn't to say that the band have lost what made their earlier discography stand out, because a lot of Aborted's latest effort is still more of a grinding, menacing assault. It's just that the band are embarking on a bigger sound which seeks to take Aborted's inspiration and invites a more open fan-base to join in the fun. Just don't expect politics: Aborted are a band that already know their source of inspiration.