I have been an Aborted fan for the better part of 11 years, since I discovered their immensely influential record Goremageddon: The Saw And The Carnage Is Done, back in 2003. I remember the very first time I heard “Meticulous Invagination” and I was absolutely floored with how straight-to-the-point and punishing it was; the rest of the album just kept on going with a homicidal vengeance, and to this day remains one of my all-time favorite brutal death metal records. Sadly, it seems that the lightning in a bottle that was contained on Goremageddon… was not meant to be sustained, because the group then proceeded to release material that ranged from mediocre (The Archaic Abattior) to forgettable (Global Flatline), as well as bad (Slaughter & Apparatus: A Methodical Overture) and unadulterated garbage (Strychnine.213).
Despite the many flops Aborted have put out over the years, one thing they have always managed to do is appeal to a crossover section of fans in between the sub-genres of brutal death metal and deathcore (who all tend to wear the most nauseatingly colored Aborted merchandise), This as a result of their later material being much more accessible and appealing to a wider audience, a trend that they continued in The Necrotic Manifesto.
Before I continue with the review, I need to get something out of the way: I really wanted to enjoy this record; I really, truly, did. I honestly wished the band the best in my most generous heart of hearts, because when you get down to the nitty-gritty of The Necrotic Manifesto, the song-writing is actually pretty damn good; Its compositions strung together very well for the most of the time and each musician was able to hold their own. The album even features the inhuman guttural warbling of Phlegeton, of psychosis-inducing brutal tech-death geniuses Wormed on “Excremental Veracity”, the best track of the album.
After this paragraph of gushing praise, this should be an easily obtainable Gold Star for Aborted to put on their refrigerators, right?
What The Necrotic Manifesto has in good song-writing, it lacks even more in every other facet of producing an enjoyable record. I can’t even begin to explain the rage that builds within me because of the many things that hit major pet peeves of mine, not only in heavy metal, but also in terms of production and even some recording/musical choices and implementations.
First off, let me explain how the production of this record absolutely murders any chance it has of being a staple of any death metal fans’ collection. The guitar tone is atrociously weak, even with two guitar tracks being pumped into you at once; this is a quality that is essential for any brutal death metal album, and right out of the gate Aborted have failed at securing the most basic tenet of the sub-genre.
Second, the absolute sloppy nature in which the guitar solos were mixed. Guitar solos should seamlessly enter into the music and not be as intrusive as a full-on TSA cavity search, correct? Well, once again Aborted have failed at one of the most basic elements of heavy metal, as the solos come in with the subtlety of a clawhammer to your testicles, as they are far too fucking loud in the mix. Jesus fucking Christ, how can you screw this up? This isn’t astrophysics; it’s just making sure your music glides in unison with nary anything to draw attention to the poor splicing of guitar tracks.
Third, out of all the vocalists that are available to do some guest spots, you chose Vincent fucking Benett of the garbage men known as The Acacia Strain to grace us with his appearance? It’s not just that his vocals sound far too much like Svencho‘s, it’s that he still is terrible, even if he is only on the record for a total of fifteen seconds. Hey, here’s an idea: why not just go all out and get that meathead cunt Frankie from Emmure on your next album? Just… fuck you, Aborted. Fuck you.
Fourth, and the most egregious bullshit of it all: vocalist Sven de Caluwé. Yes, Sven de Caluwé is the most annoying bastard on this record, which is absolutely mind-boggling. Although at one point I had considered him to be one of the top brutal death metal vocalists in the land, these days he can no longer cut it; he insists on using some type of shitty payphone filter on his growls that makes them sound slightly lower in the mix, which takes away the guttural power that they exhibited on previous releases. While the filter sucks up a lot of potential energy, that’s no match for the absolutely cringe-worthy moments where Sven tries to slow things down a bit and just talk in a deep, haunting voice, as it to try and give this fast-paced death metal some sort of deeper subtext. This amounts to some of the douchiest moments I can remember in modern death metal, especially considering that you can barely understand what it is that he’s yammering about anyway. Just shut the fuck up and growl and scream; nobody gives two fucks if you think it adds this great layer of atmosphere to your music, because it just doesn’t work.
As I said before, I really did want to enjoy The Necrotic Manifesto. Unfortunately, what came about instead is one of the laziest produced records I have had the displeasure of hearing in this millennium. The composed music had potential, but it was absolutely beaten back by some of the worst production decisions I’ve ever seen. Still, the fault can’t be laid squarely at the engineers’ feet, since every single person that was involved with this album not only dropped the ball repeatedly, but kept throwing interceptions that would be returned for touch downs by the opposing team. If you go ahead and combine that with the incredibly weak and lackluster sound, then it means that Aborted should not even be considered brutal death metal anymore, but just flat out bland-as-fuck modern death metal.
The band obviously think that their fans are fucking simpletons that will buy anything that has their name on it, since otherwise they would have never put out this hunk of shit for human consumption. After once again being disappointed by them, it is time to do some Quality Control™ and stop giving them chances time-and-time-again to win me over.
You assholes have been fucking up for eleven years, and there is no doubt in my mind that you’ll continue fucking up for at least the next twenty-two years. I’m done waiting for you to get your shit together, and so should the rest of your fan base.