Aborym: Psychogrotesque

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Aborym: Psychogrotesque
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Aborym: Psychogrotesque
Industrial Black Metal
Season of Mist Records
November 9th, 2010
Release length: 53:23
Myspace
Aborym is a band that has been on the lips of many Black Metal fans for years. Formed in Italy in 1992, the group has proven to be one of the more important figures in the Industrial Black Metal scene for years, and with Psychogrotesque, it appears that nothing has changed. This release is composed of ten tracks that carry the same name, but are clarified through the use of roman numerals to signify the differences in the tracks, which helps to create a conceptual feel to the album by linking the album and song names to the overall feel of the music on the release. Of course, for as psychotic as the music may come across thanks to the industrial aspects, it doesn’t necessarily make for a top notch album.

Instead, the album is enjoyable, but doesn’t really have much of an impact with the listener. The production quality of the album is nice and sharp, having more of a clean digital feel to it, which works well for the band’s Industrialized approach. Often, the band’s keyboard use weaves a nice, haunting atmosphere to the songs, feeling much like a creeping mist upon the band’s work. However, the keyboards can sometimes go off into a general approach with traditional chords being played, but can sometimes sound like something that was created by a Techno band for the background of the record, which can be picked up on in various tracks through the album, but mostly during “Psychogrotesque II”, which uses both the haunting mist-like ambience, and that somewhat techno-like style. Of course, “Psychogrotesque VI” is a little different with these tracks, as it starts off with a heavy Industrial element that one would expect from a band of this style, but out of nowhere, a Jazz solo breaks out, and while it adds to the chaos of the song, it just feels tacked on, and almost as if the band were taking ques from the Blackjazz album by Shining.

Of course, keeping in line with the roman numerals being the main difference in track names, the songs on Psychogrotesque bleed into one another, starting right off with the introduction track “Psychogrotesque I” which starts things off setting up an atmosphere of a hospital or psych ward you might see in horror films with an alarm, perhaps a heart rate monitor, going off, giving off the whole “Psycho” concept of the release nicely. Of course, the spacey Industrial elements that appear in some of the tracks, like the aforementioned “Psychogrotesque II”, don’t always help things out, and the fact that sometimes the concept of this release is a little lost on those not familiar with foreign languages, mostly due to the haunting spoken word track “Psychogrotesque IV”, which surely would work nicely in pushing the atmosphere of the album for those who can understand the foreign tongues being spoken.

While the keyboards and Industrial elements are clearly varied, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse, the music on this album is still greatly enjoyable as a whole and can provide countless spins. The only thing that really seems to hold it back is the vocals. Some tracks really seem to have a strong input vocally that works well with the music, such as “Psychogroteqsue III”, as well as the spoken word “Psychogrotesque IV” which has an approach in the vocals that perfectly matches the background ambience. However, some track, it just feels lacking an uninspired. “Psychogrotesque II” will leave you wishing for a little more emphasis on the vocals, and “Psychogrotesque VI” is a chaotic track, as already outline”, but featured a standard vocal approach that just does not work and sounds very generic and often clashes against the atmosphere presented in this track. Of course, the clean singing that appears randomly through the recording is vary scarce, and often is only to properly accompany the specific atmospheric setting in the music.

“Psychogrotesque VIII” makes for the strangest track off the album, however. While many tracks on here vary with the Industrial sounds, this track is essentially just Blackened Techno music. It’s the most out of nowhere track one could expect. The problem is, while the song is very catchy, it just doesn’t work with the album. Each track bleeds into one another, and with how sudden this song switches tracks, it seems forced into the mix. Of course, the vocals match the music, giving off a comanding clean voice that works with the suddenly techno dance-like music that kicked in, but still they sound weak against the music, much like on “Psychogrotesque VI”. The song itself lasts a short while, but then it bleeds into what feels like yet another forced section on “Psychogrotesque IX” which is simply Ambience and Industrial noise put together to create the sound of what could be voices going off in an insane person’s mind with music from an old antique wind up toy playing in the background. All of this makes no sense whatsoever, and can’t even be called “psycho” or “grotesque” in any form, before returning to the Industrial Black Metal sound for the closing of the album on “Psychogrotesque X”, which, at this point, some may not even want to be bothered with. Of course, this song isn’t all that strong a closing trakc for Aborym, or even for this album, though has some nice atmosphere going on to it, and the end of the track seems to wrap the album up nicely, though leaving more to be desired from it.

Psychogrotesque was an ingenius concept, but just about everything could have been stronger. The vocals are lacking power behind them sometimes, the music feels a little generic at times, or forced into something completely different, and the Industrial segments can be a bit off the wall and clash with the environment that is being created, though it does create a bit of a psychotic state of mind that way for some of the tracks. Of course, there’s a number of good songs on here, and the pattern of each track bleeding into the next, right from the start of the song, works well for the concept too, but sometimes the music would have greatly benefitted from a few seconds of silence between tracks, especially as the albumd draws to a close. For every positive aspect of this release, Aborym seems to have made something to work against them as well, which is very unfortunate for such a talented group of musicians.

01. Psychogrotesque I – 2:00
02. Psychogrotesque II – 5:07
03. Psychogrotesque III – 4:08
04. Psychogrotesque IV – 4:40
05. Psychogrotesque V – 5:44
06. Psychogrotesque VI – 6:19
07. Psychogrotesque VII – 5:16
08. Psychogrotesque VIII – 2:33
09. Psychogrotesque IX – 2:50
10. Psychogrotesque X – 14:46
Overall Score: 3.5/10


Digital review copy of this release provided by Season of Mist Records.