Album Review: Aborted – ManiaCult (Century Media Records)

Join the ManiaCult and you can never leave — at least not with your life intact. Aborted have crafted the perfect soundtrack to this sick sect, which demands human sacrifices to summon Lovecraftian demons. The sinister sound aptly snarls and snakes like the heads that worm their way out from the cult leader’s back.

It’s the same type of authority Aborted have had over the death metal masses for the 26 years since vocalist Sven de Caluwé formed the band in Belgium. As the lone original member, he’s directed the band like a demented conductor: each musician that filters through the ranks a tendril he waves around like a baton.

Aborted are shapeshifters, evolving from blazing deathgrind to groovier fare before settling into a technical approach on death metal. On their 11th album ManiaCult, they split the difference between the over-the-top shred of TerrorVision and the dripping dark atmosphere achieved on follow-up La Grande Mascarade.

Explains Caluwé:

There’s a huge increase in dynamics throughout the songs. We increased the ‘dark’ aspect and atmosphere of the music without sacrificing any of the extremity. It has our fastest songs to date, but at the same time we really wanted to make sure we didn’t lose out on any groove or catchiness.

ManiaCult will be released on September 10th, 2021 via Century Media Records.

The evolution of Aborted has been fascinating over the past few releases and ManiaCult feels like the culmination of this. As though Aborted have reached their final form and what we’re hearing now is the ultimate version of this band.

…and what a form it is.

ManiaCult is a frothing and demented creature tearing itself through the soft underbelly of humanity. From the horror-themed and sinister build of Verderf to the blistering technicality of the title track to the death metal viciousness of Impetus Odi. The first couple of tracks will knock you on your ass, that much is for sure.

Any attempt to get back up just results in the same violent treatment though as Portal to Vacuity is a barrage of heaviness. A tempo shift at the halfway point only serves to build momentary dread before Aborted rain down even more hefty blows. Dementophobia might be the fear of being driven mad but with the groove in the guitars, a thumping level of percussion and scowling, guttural vocals, it is dangerously capable of pushing those on the edge, over.

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Sink into A Vulgar Quagmire as the ruthlessness takes hold of the mind and find yourself consumed by Verbolgen. The former is consistent with the nonstop aggression featured elsewhere, whereas the latter is a short piece of keyboard melody that has a dark and gothic flavour.

Hopefully that short intermission will have refreshed your mind as Aborted want you upright, fist in the air and in fine voice for the thumping and shouty Ceremonial Ineptitude. As close as you can possibly get to Aborted’s insanity sounding ‘commercial’ purely thanks to the group chants.

Although calling anything Aborted do commercial is kind of silly. Especially when they follow that with the intense pairing of Drag Me to Hell and Grotesque. The former, soul-sucking in regards to pacing as it goes from nought to a hundred in an instant. The latter, horrid and heavy in the best ways possible.

The evolution is complete and nowhere is that better proved than with I Prediletti: The Folly of the Gods. The finale has Aborted as roasting and sweltering with fiery death metal passion at the end as they had at the start. A touch of cold melody and eerie guitar rings just makes it feel even darker.

This band is becoming unstoppable.

Aborted – ManiaCult Full Track Listing:

1. Verderf
2. ManiaCult
3. Impetus Odi
4. Portal to Vacuity
5. Dementophobia
6. A Vulgar Quagmire
7. Verbolgen
8. Ceremonial Ineptitude
9. Drag me to Hell
10. Grotesque
11. I Prediletti: The Folly of the Gods




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Aborted - ManiaCult (Century Media Records)
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