Album Review: Aborted – Vault of Horrors (Nuclear Blast)

Out on March 15th, 2024, via Nuclear Blast, Vault of Horrors is the new, and 12th, studio album from death metal miscreants Aborted. The follow-up to 2021’s ManiaCult, Vault of Horrors sees the group diving into the vaults of VHS cassettes and stories, paying tribute to horror cult classics.

How cool is this!? Aborted and cult horror, a match made in heaven, and that’s before you take into account that every track on this album features a guest vocalist. A litany of names synonymous with the sound of extreme metal. Which is smart, because Aborted deal in the extreme and Vault of Horrors finds them at their most bloodthirsty sounding.

Shadow of Intent’s Ben Duerr is the first guest to add his meaty voice to the album as he lets rip on the chaotic Dreadbringer. Paying homage to The Thing, the intro is deliciously unnerving, but it’s the explosive drums that everyone will remember on this track. As death metal as it comes, ferociously speedy and with erratic technical touches. It’s a beast of an opener, but it should probably come as no surprise that the entire album is beastly.

Fleshgod Apocalypse’s Francesco Paoli is part of even more death metal mania with the brutally heavy Condemned to Rot, and Johnny Ciardullo of Angelmaker adds even more savagery to Brotherhood of Sleep, a track inspired by the John Carpenter classic Prince of Darkness. The continuation of tech-infused death metal, with some of the meatiest instruments (seriously, the drumming on this album is insane), is so damn pleasing.

What horror infused slice of extreme would be complete without a tribute to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre? Aborted follow the bloody path laid out for them by the Sawyer clan with Death Cult. The riffs cut through flesh, the drums are the thump of hammers to head, and the vocals are the screams and howls of victims. Despised Icon’s Alex Erian showcasing his talent on one of the album’s most violent sounding efforts.

Aborted are far from done delivering some of the most intense death metal heard in years though and have many more ‘sights’ to show. It’s no surprise that a track like Hell Bound, and a track that features Matt Mcgachy of Cryptopsy, sounds like it has come directly from hell, with the devil providing a screaming guitar solo. Nor is it a surprise that a track like Insect Politics, which features Jason Evans of Ingested, is so freaking hectic. Easily the fastest sounding track on the whole album, and that’s saying something, as the entire album goes fast.

One of the cool things about this release, is that even if you don’t know or care to know what horror cult classic has inspired what track, it doesn’t matter, because it is such a quality slice of extreme metal overall. It doesn’t matter who or what The Golgothan is, or that The Shape of Hate is referencing Halloween, or that Naturom Demonto opens the book of the dead. What matters is how on form Aborted are, and that the likes of Hal Microutsicos of Engulf, Oliver Rae Aleron of Archspire, and David Simonich of Signs of The Swarm, all play a massive role in making each track feral and focused in equal measures.

Yes, it’s constant carnage and belligerent heaviness, but the care that has been put into making each track vibrant and unique, is simply stunning. So much so, that the final track sort of sneaks up. Wrapping itself around you, suffocating the mind, and leaving you feeling nothing but despair. It’s Malevolent Haze, inspired by The Mist, and featuring the incredible Ricky Hoover of Ov Sulfur. A finale worthy of the talent involved, it crushes like nothing has before, and caps off a near-perfect Aborted release. This many albums in and still pulling out stuff like this? They’re untouchable within the extreme metal world.

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Aborted – Vault of Horrors Track Listing:

1. Dreadbringer (Feat Ben Duerr of Shadow of Intent)
2. Condemned to Rot (Feat. Francesco Paoli of Fleshgod Apocalypse)
3. Brotherhood of Sleep (Feat. Johnny Ciardullo of Angelmaker)
4. Death Cult (Feat. Alex Erian of Despised Icon)
5. Hell Bound (Feat. Matt Mcgachy of Cryptopsy)
6. Insect Politics (Feat. Jason Evans of Ingested)
7.The Golgothan (Feat. Hal Microutsicos of Engulf)
8. The Shape of Hate (Oliver Rae Aleron of Archspire)
9. Naturom Demonto (Feat. David Simonich of Signs of The Swarm)
10. Malevolent Haze (Feat. Ricky Hoover of Ov Sulfur)


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  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

Aborted – Vault of Horrors (Nuclear Blast)
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