Aborym’s Dirty: Not Just a Clever Title
I remember buying Aborym’s 2006 release, Generator, on the advice of a friend, and being quite pleased with it. The band’s driving industrial-tinged brand of black metal was refreshing while dependable, kvlt yet unpredictable. However, as with many black metal bands flirting with electronic music (Samael, I am glancing in your direction), the band seemed discernibly Almost There, as though they needed a little extra push to go full retard. On their latest release, titled Dirty, Aborym seem to have found that sharpened point they were lacking on Generator… and let me tell you, it’s gross. Taking a page from industrial-metal gurus Red Harvest and modern black metal cyborgs Anaal Nathrakh, Aborym have upped the ante and released a jaundiced, sticky piece of modern black metal that will leave your favorite bad taste in your mouth.
The album’s sound contains all the trappings of the genre, with distorted howled vocals, overdriven aluminum-flavored guitars, and bizarre Sigh-like keyboard breakdowns. However, some aspects of Aborym’s current sonic flavor are worth noting. One is the drums, provided primarily by Bard “Faust” Eithun, who, depending on how much of the playing is his rather than programmed machine drumming, is beating his kit like it spoke ill of his mother. Another notable piece of Dirty’s sound is its use of cinematic cord progressions; during its industrially-thick breakdowns, this album sounds like the soundtrack to some kind of upsetting urban horror story. A setback is the album’s reliance on clear vocals throughout—frontman Malfeitor Fabban just doesn’t pull off the Mike Patton imitation he’s striving for, listenable though his singing may be.
Opener “Irreversible Crisis” is epic and filthy, even with its squealed clear vocal repetition of the words “Fuck you.” “Across The Universe” is sadly not a John Lennon cover, but is a nice strung-out industrial song. The title track has some of the most traditional black metal material on the album, though its seamlessly merged with some grotesque keyboard parts. The album’s peak might be “Raped By Daddy,” as it’s a perfect intertwining of black metal and electronic, and its muffled sounds of seemingly unpleasant coitus really adds a hair-bristling level of grossness to the music that the band is obviously aiming for. “The Factory of Death” is epic and sprawling, paranoid and languid at once, while “Helter Skelter Youth” is a good stomper, the “dance” track of the album, if you will. Meanwhile, closers “Face The Reptile” and “The Day The Sun Stopped Shining” bring a nice blast of melancholy old-school BM to the record’s end. A second disc comes with the album including rerecordings and covers, but besides the frenetic rendition of “Hallowed Be Thy Name,” it’s somewhat expendable.
Overall, Dirty is a mixed album, but a respectable one. As mentioned, there are moments when the listener craves something a little more powerful and unrelenting, but that’s fine; Aborym is the kind of band who can experiment with trance breakdowns and clean vocals and get away with it (unlike, say, Morbid Angel), and hey, even if it’s not your thing, you can’t fault a band for discovering their niche. There’s a self-assuredness here that always works in a band’s favor. Aborym’s place may be the cum-spattered back room of a sweltering dance club with a jagged piece of glass in hand, but at least the band is mature enough to understand that.