Belgian brutal death mob Aborted
have crafted a solid career out of reliably brutal, precise death metal. Their last release, ‘Slaughter
and Apparatus’ was well received and, while not quite as good as earlier devastations like ‘Goremageddon’ or ‘The Purity
of Perversions’, was still a cracking death metal release. However, with ‘Strychnine.213’, fans of the band will noticed a marked increase in melodic leads and a lack of the goregrind attackthat punctuated their earlier material.
The new album has appeared relatively quickly after the release of ‘Slaughter
...’; less than a year and a half, and that shows. The resurgence of the band away from death/grind into more technical death metal grounds with that added melodic flair will (and has, judging by some reviews online) alienate and discourage fans of the band from enjoying this album. However it is important to look at the album subjectively as well as objectively. As a solid technical death album, ‘Strychnine.213’ is an impressive piece. It still contains brutal breakdowns, although is now punctuated by fluid melodic breaks (like the many that break through Pestiferous
Subterfuge), and excellent moments of technicality that doesn’t become too head spinning. There are some good chugging groove moments in ‘A Murmur
Wits’, and a solid rumbling groove to the mid section of ‘Enterrement of an Idol’, which opens into a thick, heavy expansive section about two minutes in.
The appearance of melody in a previously brutal death metal band is always a sign that hardcore fans will disown them as being ‘commercial’, ‘trendy’ or whatever new derogatory term they can come up with to describe progression they do not approve of. But the band are simply attempting to step out of their death/grind background and appeal to newer fans, which this album certainly should. But up the brutality next time and we might be onto a complete winner. All in all however, a pretty solid brutal release, some good flashes of melody but definitely nowhere near a disaster.