Aborted – Vault of Horrors

Aborted – Vault Of Horrors
Nuclear Blast
Release Date: 15/03/2024
Running Time: 40:04
Review by Rory Bentley
8/10

At the time of writing Judas Priest are quite rightly being showered with praise from all corners of the Metal universe for putting out another album of scintillating quality that belies their advanced years. Sort of like what happens when there’s a new Iron Maiden album except with good music. As the world of Metal gets more crowded with new artists marking their territory with exciting new releases, it is now no longer good enough for an older band to turn up and coast on their legacy. The bar has been raised far above merely having a few good singles and not embarrassing oneself, and this is none truer than in Death Metal.

Belgian Death squad Aborted are well aware of this and have been on a hot streak for a long time now, reliably putting out precision-guided brutal Grind-tinged Death Metal that stacks up with and matches the energy of the very best of the genre both young and old. In even better news this purple patch continues with the excellent “Vault of Horrors”.

Taking inspiration from all manner of classic horror films and delivered with frothing intensity, this is an absolute treat for fans of gore and brutality of all ages. From the 80s Horror synths of devastating opener ‘Dreadbringer’, featuring Symphonic Deathcore darlings Shadow of Intent, it’s pretty clear that blood and guts, gatling gun drums and razor-sharp scything riffwork is the order of the day. The sweep picked lead guitars, slick beatdowns and demented guttural vocals make for a gut-punch of an opener, which when paired with Hellraiser-inspired lyrics is catnip for any sicko worth their salt.

The record does not sound like a band approaching 30 years, mainly down to the intensity and virility of the performances laid down on the likes of the breakneck Death Grind of ‘Insect Politics’ (inspired by “The Fly”, hopefully the Goldblum version), but also due to the healthy sprinkling of collaborations with artists that have sprung up after the band’s inception. The pig-squealing splendour of Deathcore pioneers Despised Icon melds beautifully with album highlight ‘Death Cult’ which could easily slot into the setlist of many a latter day Death Metal band. It is to Aborted credit that where many vintage bands make being ‘Old School’ a point of pride to the extent of becoming tiresome, these guys have embraced the advances in production and the genre’s evolution and merged it seamlessly with their core sound.

As has been the case with the latter part of Aborted’s career, the clean and shiny production is likely to cause a few grumbles; particularly with the modern trend veering towards a more raw, retro sound. However, I think this misses the point and appeal of the band, namely immaculately executed, widescreen horror Death Metal with an emphasis on big, twisted hooks. It’s a style and sound that works exquisitely for them and sets them apart from some of their equally legendary but murkier sounding peers. 29 years in and Aborted are at the very top of their game, can’t really ask for more than that can you?

TRACKLISTING

01. Deadbringer
02. Condemned to Rot
03. Brotherhood of Sleep
04. Death Cult
05. Hellbound
06. Insect Politics
07. The Golgothan
08. The Shape of Hate
09. Naturom Demonto
10. Malevolent Haze

LINE-UP:

Sven De Caluwé – Vocals
Ian Jekelis – Guitar
Daniel Konradsson – Guitar
Stefano Franceschini – Bass
Ken Bedene – Drums

LINKS:

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