When I saw the title “Retrogore” for the first time, I started to be afraid that, I thought that the next prominent extreme band did a CD full of re-worked extreme “all-time classics” from the pioneers of goresoaked death metal or grind core. There are more than a few examples to come on the mind, fortunately this is not the case. It would be a pity anyway, since “Terminal Redux” EP of the Belgian Nr. 1 death metal act ABORTED was very tasty appetizer of the next big things to come.
ABORTED from Beveren, East Flanders, are here since 1995, and they progressed enormously since their “Purity Of Perversion” debut, very solid, bud not that outstanding mix of death metal and grind core with typical gore themes in lyrics. It was released in 1999 and since then the guys released a lot of stuff, including the next eight albums. They became a big name not only in the terms of European extreme scene, and musically never stagnated, although their “Strychnine.213” I consider as a step aside, album, that ended up as a sort of victim of deathcore and metalcore trend. Overall not bad at all, just not the “real ABORTED”, maybe a bit like that “King” from CRYPTOPSY, who turned out to be not a king at all. It’s been eight years and three albums back and ABORTED give us all what we like to get from them.
“Retrogore”, released in April, contains of 12 tracks, if you owe the classic version, or 19, if you have extended version on 2CD, the 1st one with the album and two bonus tracks, and with the “Terminal Redux” EP as the 2nd disc. It’s over 66 minutes of well composed and well produced extreme metal, so it is definitively possible to say that it’s worth to buy it. The music was recorded, mixed and mastered at Germany’s Kohlekeller Studio, and the sound engineers there know, how to do modern, sharp, yet heavy, aggressive sound without some plastic aftertaste and with quite a sinister atmosphere.
As for the music, what we have here is fast, furious, straightforward and slashing European type death metal, clearly inclining to the ruthless brutality on one hand, but to technical approach and sophisticated composition on the other one. The songs are very catchy, yet straight into your face, with a lot of tempo changes regardless of the fact that the whole album is of the faster ones. A lot of guitar riffs can’t deny the inspiration from Steer/Amott CARCASS era, but ABORTED use them in their very own way for a long time. This of course comes with a lot of very colorful, very often melodic leads and solos, as well as with the harmonies adding quite strong atmosphere into these works of sheer uncompromising cruelty. Also some moodier, sem-accoustic or instrumental parts are very refreshing.
Another exceptional element here is Sven de Caluwé and his throat, capable of very impressive dual vocal attack of low death metal growling, alternating with higher furious parts. This is also very effective when working together, this kind of “monster and beast” duet is also a developed from style invented by early CARCASS and others, and its result is deadly. Great musical opus is crowned by well done artwork from Cooki Greenway and Christopher Lowell (layout and design is done by vocalist himself), and I am glad to see, that Sven with Ken Bedene (drums), JB van der Val (bass), Ian Jekelis, Mendel bij de Lij (guitars) and guests Travis Ryan from CATTLE DECAPITATION) Julien Truchan from BENIGHTED (both on vocals, track 7, resp. 5) and Alex Karlinsky with keyboards and samples did a bloody good work again.
Martin Lukáč (8/10)
Martin Lukáč (8/10)
1. Dellamorte Dellamore (00:49)
2. Retrogore (04:18)
3. Cadaverous Banquet (04:13)
4. Whoremageddon (03:30)
5. Termination Redux (03:28)
6. Bit by Bit (04:03)
7. Divine Impediment (04:19)
8. Coven of Ignorance (03:43)
9. The Mephitic Conundrum (03:19)
10. Forged for Decrepitude (02:42)
11. From Beyond (The Grave) (04:23)
12. In Avernus (04:36)
Released by / vydane: Century Media, 2016
Line up / Zostava:
JB van der Wal – Bass
Ken Bedene – Drums
Mendel bij de Leij – Guitars
Ian Jekelis – Guitars
Sven de Caluwé – Vocals
Discography / diskografia:
The Purity of Perversion (1999)
Engineering the Dead (2001)
Goremageddon: The Saw and the Carnage Done (2003)
The Archaic Abattoir (2005)
Slaughter & Apparatus: A Methodical Overture (2007)
Global Flatline (2012)
The Necrotic Manifesto (2014)