Review: “ManiaCult” by Aborted

In the 26 years since vocalist Sven “Svencho” de Caluwé formed Aborted in Belgium in 1995 the band has evolved from creating incendiary Deathgrind to being a Groove infused Death Metal outfit and following the all out shred fest of 2018’s “TerrorVision“, the bands continuation as a quartet with last years EP “La Grande Mascarade” was certainly an eye opener. The huge increase in dynamics in those songs with particular attention to the dark aspect of atmosphere coupled with the bands extremity helped maintain the position of the other members in Ken Bedene (drums), Ian Jekelis (guitars) and Stefano Franceschini (bass) as rightful heirs to the thrones of their predecessors as they continue the march of the Dead…

…with dark and oppressing atmosphere “Verderf” is the sound of the beast slowly rising, an introduction piece of immense cinematic power before being swept aside by the Tsunami of blast beats and razor sharp riffs of the album title track that finds Jekelis threatening to need a new guitar with each song due to the sheer volume of fretboard smoking dexterity on show. Throw a guest vocal appearance from Joe Badolato of Fit For An Autopsy and you’ve got everything any fan of Brutal Death Metal could possibly want and should open up the doors for tours with the likes of The Black Dahlia Murder, Benighted or Suffocation should Aborted wish it. “Impetus Odi” continues the trend with some absolutely insane lead work that makes others seem lazy in comparison; couple that with the thunderous jackhammer footwork of Bedene and the way the vocals have been layered to give two distinctive unclean voices of vicious intent and you’ve got yourself a full throttle, high octane, full fat, high caffeine monster just waiting to take a bite out of your neck. Everything has restless and relentless energy about it and when Caluwé said in the build up to the release that these were some of the bands fastest songs to date, he wasn’t joking as somehow they have managed to increase the intensity, speed and atmosphere on these new cuts without taking anything away; growing as a collective despite losing a guitarist to do something that is simply jaw dropping. There is also a fair amount of Black Metal influence on these songs with “Portal to Vacuity” blending that with Grindcore and finishing like Immortal playing a Full Of Hell cover with fearsome awe inspiring power.

There are points at which there is no room for breath given the full on nature of the blast beats and technical riffage and the debauchery of “A Vulgar Quagmire” has no let up in the searing intensity. However the band have noticed that and given us an eerie haunting piano interlude in “Verbolgen” that is straight from the score of a Stephen King movie, a dance macabre that may well introduce their live sets going forward with its aching beauty. Curiously Aborted have chosen to included three of the four guest vocal appearances that grace this album in the second half of it and with each of those cuts there are certain trademark aspects that the guest has perhaps allowed these musicians to bring into their own cut. “Ceremonial Ineptitude” sees perhaps the most surprising of those guests in Ryo Kinoshita of Japanese Metalcore outfit Crystal Lake join the party, but he has shown his vocal abilities to be fierce enough to make this his own while also allowing the band to bring in some gang chanted group vocals to the Kings table. “Grotesque” gallops away with a sinister urge and menacing, malicious intent as the storyline about the horrific acts committed by the ManiaCult play out and you can’t help but feel there is much more to this than meets the eye. Are these the nightmarish dreams of cult leader Wayland Thurston or a bloodthirsty reality brought about by the fallout from mental illness? Either way, this is primed for a sequel. As an album, it’s a tour de force of Technical Death Metal, throwing down the gauntlet to not only their peers but the naysayers who said this band were growing old disgracefully. They’re not. They’re aging like a fine wine and on this evidence, their best may well be yet to come [8.5/10]

Track listing

1. Verderf
2. ManiaCult (ft. Joe Badolato of Fit For An Autopsy)
3. Impetus Odi
4. Portal to Vacuity
5. Dementophobia
6. A Vulgar Quagmire
7. Verbolgen
8. Ceremonial Ineptitude (ft. Ryo Kinoshita of Crystal Lake)
9. Drag me to Hell (ft. Filip Danielsson of Humanity’s Last Breath)
10. Grotesque
11. I Prediletti: The Folly of the Gods (ft. Ben Duerr of Shadow of Intent)

ManiaCult” by Aborted is out 10th September 2021 via Century Media

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