Review – Aborted: Termination Redux

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  • Bio: "There are many ways to die but even more to kill as sonic mass murderers ABORTED elaborately explain since their forming back in 1995 [...]" - Facebook
  • Label: Century Media Records
  • Release Date: January 8th, 2016
  • Genre: Death Metal
  • Website: Visit Website
  • Rating (out of 10):

Aborted has been one of those groups that seemed to skirt the underground scene for nearly all of their existence as a band. The Belgium death metal maniacs formed back in 1995 and, following two demo recordings, were finally picked up in 1999 for their debut full-length, The Purity of Perversion. Since then, the band has been on various labels through their career, unleashing eight full-lengths, a number of split contributions, and various EPs. It wasn’t until 2007 that they gained the attention of Century Media Records, who unleashed their Slaughter & Apparatus: A Methodical Overture album to the masses. What followed had been what a number of long time fans considered a slow decline, leaving many just okay the newer material, though not embracing the direction behind them as well as prior efforts like 2003’s Goremageddon: The Saw and the Carnage Done. But, with the band reaching their 20th anniversary, Aborted recorded a brand new EP titled Termination Redux, and issued it in various limited vinyl pressings, as well as digital download. But is this special treat for fans really something juicy, or is it just a bland experience that banks on the fact that it’s an anniversary release?

Termination Redux starts off with “Liberate Me Ex Inferis”, which is simply a thirty-one second audio sample of Pinhead from Hellraiser saying he and the other Cenobites were going back, and explaining that, compared to Hell, reality is much worse. It’s a suiting introduction, and one that does pay homage to the brutality of their early years before “Termination Redux” kicks in. The cut is well paced, carrying a decent amount of nightmarish tension in the mix thanks largely to the subtle melodic riffs, especially when slowed just past two minutes in, offering up a Dante’s Inferno-esque gothic sensation without the steady blast beats of the drum kit, all leading to a briefly explosive climax.

That frantic drum presence makes up a good amount of “Vestal Disfigurement Upon the Sacred Chantry”, a much more methodical offering. There’s a good number of changes to the tempo in the music, especially in the cleaner guitar solo that doesn’t quite fit the bill but is still effective none the less. There’s also an abusive number of squeals from the guitar strings being pulled back and forth for effect, taking an otherwise solid track and making it a bit cheeky in a Killswitch Engage decided to go the Whitechapel deathcore sense. Thankfully, this is corrected come “Bound in Acrimony”, which just hammers at the listener with your standard faster paced brutal death metal performances dominated largely by the drum kit. There are some hints of hardcore in the guitars at times, not to mention a slam that comes off more like a typical breakdown with angsty rebellion and gang chanting as well. Sadly, this ending is nowhere near as strong as how it starts, leaving you feeling a bit robbed by the time it ends.

Aborted

Finally you have a cover of their song “The Holocaust Re-Incarnate”, which comes off their Engineering the Dead album. It’s a solid reinterpretation, though the crisp audio quality does highlight some of the faults with the thinner guitar chords that the early analog format managed to nice hide when first recorded. That said, the guitar solo is fantastic, giving off a fluidity that works very well with the near effortless sounding performance prior to it. The only complaint is that the song still wraps up in a way that makes you expect another track to follow, but no other re-recordings of the group’s best material exist on this effort to give you that very pay off you’re hoping for.

Termination Redux is an interested specimen of where the group was, and where they stand today. It’s not bad, but it sometimes tries to blend both worlds together with a little less care than their two most recent albums showed off. That said, this EP does explore the realms of deathgrind and hardcore well enough to reaffirm that Aborted does stand as one of the stronger players in the field, though by todays deathcore standards offer little unique to the game that hasn’t already been made available. This is a group that is at their best with focusing on the bleak and most brutal sides of life, and that was something mostly replaced with blistering blastbeats and mild breakdowns. If you’re a fan of modern Aborted, Termination Redux will definitely captivate you. However, long time fans will find a little less to write home about than those recently inducted. It isn’t bad, but it could have been so much more brutal.

Aborted

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