Aborted: Global Flatline

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Aborted: Global Flatline
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Aborted: Global Flatline
Brutal Death Metal
Century Media Records
January 24th, 2012
Release length: 43:40
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As of late, a lot of people, including myself, had been watching a decline within the ranks of Aborted. This Belgium-based Brutal Death Metal group had started out in a clearly intense and uncompromising sound, but as technology progressed, and the Metal landscape started to change with Metalcore and Deathcore, the band’s overly brutal sound started to give way and they began to blend in with today’s “-core” and Death Metal acts. After quite a variety of positive and negative press to their sixth full-length album, Strychnine.213, the group pulled themselves together and, while not quite shedding themselves of their more modern sound, really went back into their far more brutal roots with Global Flatline. With their lead single causing waves of excitement amongst fans and newcomers alike, the question now becomes whether the full album manages to grab the listener by the throat the way the self-titled track did.

Obviously the audio is about what you will expect from the single. The quality is simply top-notch with a heavy bass presence to push the overly brutal sound. The guitars have a sharper distortion that treads into what one might expect in Grindcore territory, and there are plenty of blast beasts throughout that back up the sound and even a strong influence from that genre towards the Brutal Death Metal sound. The bass really stands against these chords to give it a nice blunt sound that hammers away at the listener without completely grounding the mix and restricting it from try to tear your face off with the intensity, speed, and aforementioned sharpened edge. The cymbals don’t come through too loud, being at a level that doesn’t overpower everything, finding a larger focus on the bass kicks and their click that stands out nicely and becomes obvious in the mix. The snares here do seem a little lost in the mix though, becoming the least obvious in the mix at times when the kicks and cymbals really fill the music, leaving them to feel a little dull and thick, but it does work out for the album in the long run. Vocally, it’s about what you could expect from the bands more recent sound. The guttural vocals are more along the lines of a Deathcore approach really, being that mid-range guttural approach you expect to hear go into the pig squeels with accompanying screaming vocals layered over them. It works for what the band is going for with the album, and does match the intensity.

But that really becomes the only traditional Deathcore sound that comes into play here. Much of the album is far from what you would expect from that style, and really shows listeners that the group hasn’t forgotten the Brutal Death Metal sound they started out with. There even seems to be a bit of a concept throughout much of the album, utilizing “Omega Mortis” as a spoken word narration with ambience describing a virus that seems to be killing people, which is built upon through introduction and outro narratives and audio samples on various tracks. It does set the tone for the release well, and the overall sickening brutality that many of the songs carry with them. Of course, “Global Flatline” does a great job of welcoming the listener to the madness, and obviously is a great choice for a lead single. The energy portrayed here with this song can easily get the listener pumped for the rest of the release with its fast paced punish guitar works and blistering drums that hammer away in a grinding manner with nicely transitioned groove-fueled elements that will instantly have your head banging along. That furious pace does let up during some slower or groove tinged bridges, such as during the atmospheric and audio sample bridge and guitar solo for “Coronary Reconstruction” before slamming into a very brutal breakdown that suits the flow of the track. Much of the song comes at you with a high-speed, but it does close out on a catchy note that feels a little drug out.

Of course, “Coronary Reconstruction” is one of the longer tracks to this release, unlike the rest that are all roughly around the three-minute mark. Time doesn’t really prove to be a problem for the band, though at the end it’s clear they padded the song out just a bit, but that’s an issue that never really comes up again. Sure some of the audio samples can be considered that, but most of them, like with the start of “Fecal Forgery,” are all very short and, in the end, do keep the tone of the album alive to build up into an explosive start for the track. Unfortunately for Global Flatline, the energy that is present in the title track doesn’t always remain, and “Fecal Forgery” is proof of that thanks to how long the slower passage is that exists here. While this isn’t bad, or feel like filler, in the end it does feel a little less enthusiastic, which is a bit of a letdown. But, having every song on here going at breakneck speed would be rather boring, so these elements do work to offer up variety to each song, but sometimes they can be done better. “Vermicular, Obscene, Obese” is a prime example. This track varies greatly in speeds, but the slower ones end up working out very well, having a really catchy, as well as crushing vibe to them that are transitioned in and out of nicely while still supplying a track full of pure rage and aggression. There’s also “Expurgation Euphoria” that prides itself on largely being a slower track. This allows for a very dismal atmosphere to be set in among some crushing Death Metal that just crawls along between the creepy piano intro and outro you’d expect to hear in a Horror film dealing with a broken down hospital. The guttural vocals here come off deeper as well, giving you a nice break from the norm of the album, as well as the dual vocal performance.

And that’s about where the album stands. Global Flatline doesn’t always live up to the energy or intensity behind the title track, but even when it doesn’t the songs are usually still solid Death Metal, whether of the Brutal sub-genre or not. Fans of the initial Aborted sound, as well as those liked the direction they took for a little while lately will definitely find enough common group between them to enjoy what the band brings. Global Flatline easily is not the most impressive release from the band, but overall it’s a solid experience from start to finish with only a few hiccups. This is mostly due to the band finding something that works and is far from generic, and runs with it for about thirteen actual tracks (not including the ambient audio sample introduction). Granted, after a few spins the material will grow a little tiring, especially thanks to the energy just not really being too consistent, but you’ll still find yourself coming back to it.

01. Omega Mortis – 0:59
02. Global Flatline – 3:12
03. The Origin of Disease – 3:04
04. Coronary Reconstruction – 4:28
05. Fecal Forgery – 2:45
06. Of Scabs and Boils – 2:53
07. Vermicular, Obscene, Obese – 2:51
08. Expurgation Euphoria – 3:43
09. From a Tepid Whiff – 3:04
10. The Kallinger Theory – 3:44
11. Our Father, Who Art of Feces – 2:45
12. Grime – 3:48
13. Endstille – 6:29
14. Nailed Through Her Cunt – 4:12
Overall Score: 8/10


Digital review copy of this release provided by Century Media Records.