Aborted's seventh album, Global Flatline has been two years in the making and it's been well worth the wait. Following on from their 2008 offering Strychnine.213, the band underwent a major line up change before releasing the Coronary Reconstruction EP in 2010. Global Flatline sees vocalist Sven De Caluwe as the sole surviving original member but with the (relatively) new line up of Eran Segal and Michael Wilson on guitars, backed up by JB van de Wal on bass and Ken Bedene on drums, Aborted seems leaner, meaner and all together more violent than before. Throw in some guest vocals from Trevor Strnad (The Black Dahlia Murder), Julien Truchan (Benighted), Jason Netherton (Misery Index) and Keiijo Niinima (Rotten Sound) and you've got a riot on your hands, mister.
We're introduced to the new album with Omega Mortis; a teasing intro track that alludes to a post-apocalyptic zombie filled nightmare - it's all samples of radio broadcasts over eerie keyboards, and is ambient insofar as it sets the scene for what we're in for. A heartbeat drops in and then we're off...
Global Flatline starts slow and dischordant but then goes absolutely apeshit. This is the sound of that lone, drugged up mentalist in the pit, all swinging fists and flying feet. "Stay away" we're warned but can we? No fucking way. The zombie artwork for the album was done by Justin Osborn and it looks like a dodgy 70's paperback cover, which fits in with the whole vibe of this album.
The Origin Of Disease maintains the initial level of insanity and aggression. Bedene's drums are the work of the Devil and I was left wondering if it would be humanly possible to drum any faster. The dual guitar work of Segal and Wilson is an absolute joy and the track is over before you can say "Evil Satan, 666". The drone of flies (possibly settling on a decomposing body?) leads us into Coronary Reconstruction. It has bags of screaming guitars with a slow mid-section and some more samples thrown in for good measure. Every now and then there's a note to end all notes (you'll know what I mean when you hear it) and the bass is there, unashamed for all to hear!
Fecal Forgery (insert chortle here) may possibly be the least mental track on here but it's still finger bitingly mad. Most of the songs on this album are pretty short but I reckon that's a good thing as it enables each one to be delivered with an intensity which may have been lost if they were any longer.
Of Scabs And Boils has the slow guitar sections balanced well against the speed of the drums and Vermicular, Obscene, Obese has some lovely dischordant music against the vocals - there's also a nice sojourn down the fretboard courtesy of some mongoloid chords and lead guitar work. This fades to some piano to give you the creeping willies. I kept imagining some small, freakish child murmuring "Where's Daddy?" but maybe that's just me. There's a haunting, almost spoken word section with some heinous guitars and the hatred and violence in the vocal delivery is most apparent. It's a slow, heavy track that provokes images of chaos and destruction. Superb.
Next up is the hilariously titled From A Tepid Whiff; surely a reaction against the slow tempo of the previous track? Absoluely fucking mental. But it leads nicely into The Kallinger Theory which is another well crafted tune that jams a finger in your eye to grab your attention. Global Flatline is well produced (big shout to Jacob Hansen who produced, mixed and mastered it) because it manages to sound filthy yet also allows each element of each song to shine through. Genius.
My favourite titled track Our Father, Who Art Of Feces (though I do prefer the spelling with an 'a') has some interesting spaces in its construction. The bass drops in again on this one - but what is this preoccupation with shit?! Just another of the usual topics explored by death metal bands? Bizarrely I have heard Aborted also described as gore-grind, death-grind, and extreme metal; you make up your mind what you think they are. I'm just peaking out on this album.
Penultmately we have the doom laden Grime. Some of the guitar solos on this one are quite beautiful; like finding a perfect diamond in a pile of rotting meat/shit...and last up is Endstille, the longest track at six minutes and twenty seven seconds. It's a slow, chunky number with some more doom influences thrown in; there's some more sweet guitar work punctutated by more zombie apocalypse sampling and there's an aeon between the chord changes. It's that fucking heavy. The last minute or so is just some dude talking but it really does give you the impression that you're listening to the last man on Earth.
There's a teaser video floating about on the web which sums up the flavour of this album and if you buy the limited edition digipak, it comes with bonus tracks - new versions of classic Aborted tunes Nailed Through Her Cunt and Eructations of Carnal Artistry. Buy it. You know you want to.