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Aborted, Vault of Horrors Album Review

Written By Lindon Faynes

As creatures of habit, it is often easy to feel content with repetition and familiarity. We know what to expect and can find solace in homogeneity. This often applies to the music we listen to, something that follows a distinct style or sound that can make one feel gratification. Originality and personality can be and usually will be sacrificed for an indifferent but pleasing sound to feed this appetite.   

Belgium’s Aborted have always been a band that were “style over substance” as in whilst offering nothing new to the death metal spectrum, do add a direct-on-target sound that utilizes the influences from Suffocation, Cannibal Corpse & Carcass that quenches that grim death metal thirst. I very much doubt Sven ever set out to redirect or reinterpret the genre but to just play brutal and intransigent music which has been accomplished album after album.  

“Vault of Horrors” is an album comprised of drummer driven death metal. It is as fast paced and as frantic as any other current death metal sound. I am in no shape or form calling Aborted generic, but the riffs presented here are formulaic. Lots of tritone power chords & tremolo littered with syncopated chugging that draws a good amount of influence from the current deathcore sound sprinkled in with technical showmanship and the typical melodies used in most extreme metal. Not riff devoid by any means, however it is very paint-by-numbers in terms of songwriting and with the clean and very modern production does not help with differentiation from other similar acts. This is not a critique but more so an observation of the current extreme music scene what with bands using the same instrument brands, tunings and amp pre-sets. It all has a great sound however leaves a lot more to be desired in originality or ingenuity.   

One of the main selling points for this release was that all 10 tracks (not including the bonus song) feature a well-known guest vocalist. I have always found that the most unique feature of Aborted’s music was frontman Sven’s vocals. He, alongside other belching greats Frank Mullens and George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher, have very distinct styles & sounds. I have heard songs he has guested on without knowing and was able to pick that it is him which should display my reverence for his voice. Kicking the thesaurus aside and just stating it – he’s an awesome vocalist. Everyone else is great too. However, hearken back to my point on the production and writing, these songs could have been written by the guests bands themselves. Eric from Despised Icon does his vocals over a slam riff and isn’t too different sounding from his own band, same with Oliver from Archspire, his section could be either Aborted or Archspire and this echoes for a good portion of the guest spots here (Fleshgod & Cryptopsy are exceptions to the rule). Despite this, it is understandable that the album would have these features as all these bands are touring brothers, and it would help bring in new fans.

In short, this album is a solid slab of death metal; did you really come in expecting more than that? Songs like “The Shape of Hate”, “Death Cult” & the grindy “Insect Politics” still batter your ear drums effortlessly. Solid but not stellar, safe but not stagnant.

ORDER VAULT OF HORRORS HERE:

1.Dreadbringer (feat. Shadow Of Intent)
2.Condemned To Rot (feat. Francesco Paoli)
3.Brotherhood Of Sleep (feat. Johnny Ciardullo)
4.Death Cult (feat. Despised Icon)
5.Hellbound (feat. Matt McGachy)
6.Insect Politics (feat. Jason Evans)
7.The Golgothan (feat. Hal Microutsicos)
8.The Shape Of Hate (feat. Oliver Rae Aleron)
9.Naturom Demonto (feat. David Simonich III)
10.Malevolent Haze (feat. Ricky Hoover)

FOLLOW ABORTED ONLINE:

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By Metal Lair

Propter Music Connoisseur, music for refined taste.

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