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ALBUM REVIEW: Retrogore – Aborted

With their cutting edge, technical and ruthless slab of death metal, Belgium’s ABORTED have become a force in the scene. Recent albums like Global Flatline and The Necrotic Manifesto have refined the formula and now, album number nine, Retrogore is here. Does this new slab of death metal propel the band to new heights?

Short introduction Dellamorte Dellamore is an intriguing introduction to the record, standing at just 50 seconds the peculiar introductory song sets up an upbeat atmosphere through cheery chanting before unleashing into the title track, Retrogore. It’s a slick move by the band and instantly set up the album to burst into life. Retrogore is just trademark ABORTED, riffs are ferocious, Ken Bedene‘s drumming is thunderous and the vocal delivery of Sven de Caluwe is foul and fits the style in grand fashion. A fine start to the record and sets the pace at breakneck speed.

From there, the pace of Retrogore doesn’t let up and the listener is continuously pounded with refined and slick riffs, whirlwind solos and absolutely filthy vocal deliveries. For example the riffs of Cadaverous Collection are played in whirlwind rhythm demonstrating technicality without downright gloating; it’s a slick trait and ABORTED have mastered the art superbly with Retrogore.

Similar to previous records, ABORTED make sure of classic soundbites from horror movies and their inclusion in Retrogore is both comical and deadly effective. The transition from one such soundbite into the humorously titled Whoremageddon sets the track up to explode in an instant. It’s a subtle touch, enabling the listener to catch their breath only to be thrown head first back into the carnage once again. Featuring one of the deadliest breakdowns on the record, Whoremageddon demonstrates a band with one goal; to ultimately pulverise the listener. And that they do so well.

With Bit By Bit featuring a truly mesmerising solo from Mendel bij de Leij, Divine Impediment‘s gradual introduction adds a nice variation to the pace of the record. With a slow introduction that features strong riffing from Ian Jekelis the track gradually builds a huge atmosphere where the guitar playing really shines. It’s eerie and incredibly effective at captivating the listener throughout. It’s a technique ABORTED have refined across their career and it’s demonstrated impressively with Retrogore.

With that, it’s important to note just how well the chemistry of the band is displayed on Retrogore. The Belgian outfit has featured countless members across their 21 year career and with album number nine, the balance of each member’s duties is executed remarkably well. Ken Bedene‘s drumming replicates that of machine gun fire and the balance of guitarists Mendel bij de Leij and Ian Jekelis is a fine duel to hear, with each given room to breathe through slick solos and then combining to unleash devastating riffs that just encourage heads to bang. JB van der Wal‘s bassdrops are truly crushing and Sven de Caluwe‘s signature snarls and growls roar above the chaotic sound. It’s a truly ferocious style and ABORTED have made this sound their own, and with Retrogore, it showcases a band at their very best.

Towards the conclusion of the album the pace only continues to build and expand, continuing the batter the ear drums. The Mephitic Conundrum features slick riffs that build anticipation before unfolding into a truly slick and mesmerising riff that is truly enjoyable whilst final track In Avernus blasts the listener one last time through thunderous riffs and double bass kicks. It’s relentless in it’s delivery and sees a fitting conclusion to an album that just doesn’t let up at all.

Retrogore isn’t just another ABORTED album, it is the album that truly captures what this band are striving to achieve; truly devastating and technicality brilliant death metal. From the monstrous breakdowns and whirlwind solos to the sheer venomous vocal deliveries, this is an album not for the faint-hearted. Strap yourselves in and let Retrogore pummel you into oblivion.

Rating: 9/10

Aborted Retrogore

Retrogore is set for release on April 22nd via Century Media Records.

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Distorted Sound Issue 24 COVER