Aborted’s Necrotic Manifesto: The Grotesque Psychotic Post-Apocalyptic Eight-Armed Blade-Wielding Doctor is In


Aborted don’t give a shit about tension. They’re an all-release, all-the-time tech-death distillery, entirely about the distraction of the next nuclear riff or blast. Or so it seems. They ratchet up the early creepiness with horror-chic intro piece “Six Feet of Foreplay,” and once in a while listeners can catch a few seconds of eardrum respite in the form of a cheeky sample wedged between the hyper-rhythmic mortar bursts these Belgians call songs.

Ken Bedene, Aborted’s engine behind the drum kit, absolutely steals the headlining role on Necrotic Manifesto. Whether the drum barrage actually rides too high in the mix might be a matter of taste; the effect certainly pulverizes all fleshy substances within earshot of the speakers. Whatever the intent, the result turns Necrotic Manifesto into the modern metal equivalent of a hundred-armed Hekatonkheir outfitted with a full complement of glass shard-encrusted brass knuckles. Face-grating stringwork does filter through the blasts, but it takes a little work to hear it all.

Songs tend to disappear into a consistent blur, but it’s a high quality blur. “An Enumeration of Cadavers” gallops out all gory and grindy, and it heads out the same way, but right in the middle the song nosedives into a menacing midpaced shuffle then tears apart again into a torch-bright solo. Other light-show solos explode from the jagged depths of various tracks – “The Davidian Deceit,” “Sade & Libertine Lunacy,” “Excremental Veracity” and the title track among them. These cleaner, smoother sounds number very few among the steel-toothed, dissonant chug that fills most of the album, but they always provide a welcome infusion of breathtaking tonal playfulness. At times – notably on “Your Entitlement Means Nothing,” “Coffin Upon Coffin” and “Die Verzweiflung” – Aborted sound a little like Gojira got themselves heat-fused to the old-school aesthetic and then were force-fed amphetamines and lit on fire. The five-and-a-half-minute closer “Cenobites” earns its length with its subtly idiosyncratic character and relentless spiraling motion.

Throughout Necrotic Manifesto, Aborted seem to repurpose guitar work from high quality grind and progressive and technical death to be welded into their updated, jet-fueled deathly aggression. Aborted 2014 make a case for metal as its own type of mood music: dependably brutal, dynamically unsurprising, skull-rattlingly satisfactory.

Aborted’s Necrotic Manifesto comes out April 29 on Century Media. You can stream the track “Coffin Upon Coffin” here and pre-order the album here.

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