Belgian death metal outfit, Aborted, are back in a big way with their ninth full length entitled, Retrogore (Century Media). All of the typical elements are there from previous albums like the movie samples at either beginning or endings of songs, thunderous drum work, Sven (De Caulwe) being Sven, etc. Based off of the album title and some of the samples used, it appears they wanted to stick to some old classics (one of my favorite samples coming from ‘Re-Animator’; see tack ‘Forged for Decreptude’). Being a huge horror fan, this only scores more points for me.
Outside of the samples, there were quite a few guests on Retrogore as well. The first is on the track called ‘Divine Impediment’ and features guest vocals from Cattle Decapitation‘s own Travis Ryan. The mixture of Sven’s deep growls and high-pitched screeches with what seems like only Travis can do vocally makes for one of the more memorable tracks on the album. The very next track, ‘Coven of Ignorance’ also features guest vocals from Dave Davidson of Revocation fame. Again, the contrast of the two vocal patterns tossed over some chugging and riffing is simply pleasant. Towards the end of the track, we also get a quick sample from a ‘House M.D.’ episode from Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) himself. If you simply cannot get enough guest vocalists, then you will find ‘The Mephitic Conundrum’ to be a great track as well. Jason Keyser from Origin/ex-Skinless hops on the mic for sections throughout the song. Literally, three songs in a row have guest vocalists and it may be the best stretch on the album.
As a whole, I found that I could listen to Retrogore from front to back without even thinking of pressing the skip button. There were certainly tracks I may have liked more than others, but even my least favorite track was still a solid track. Each track told its own story and stood out in its own way which helped keep the album fresh which is not the easiest to do in the death metal world nowadays. While previous releases from Aborted kind of fall into a dark void after a handful of listens, I find that this latest record will be hanging around for quite some time.
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