The return of Aborted! Huzzah! After recently catching them live, I was eagerly awaiting their latest foray into the killing pits. Their brand of blasting mayhem and huge groovy riffs has been refined over the years so that they’re definitely one of the best in the genre at this point.
The singer has always been one of my favourite death metal vocalists. He’s capable of some exquisite growls which he seems to be able to unleash with ease, while his higher screames are extremely distinctive and carry with them plenty of character and personality. I love both of them, but can’t help just getting lost in the formless blackness of the deep growls.
Retrogore features the trademark Aborted sound in abundance. Blast beats and speed mix with groove-laden riffs and dark melodic intent. Their previous album The Necrotic Manifesto seemed to dial back the melodic aspects, whereas Retrogore allows them free rein once more. This is not to imply that Aborted are really a melodic band; this is brutal death metal, make no mistake. However, they do know how to add melody to their riffs in order to enhance and maximise the impact the songs have, and although this aspect was lacking on their previous album, here it’s back with full effect.
The guitars are particularly enjoyable and diverse, (within the style), on this release, maybe as a reaction to The Necrotic Manifesto’s relative simplicity. There are more leads and solos, more hooks, and just better arrangements on Retrogore, and it really does stand out as one of their better albums. Which is saying a lot, considering just how damn good Aborted are in general.
The songs are well-written and show the usual Aborted flair for both style and substance. The band have produced the album that I was hoping for, and I can only really sum it up by saying that if you like death metal in any way, I find it impossible to understand how you couldn’t like this. Retrogore is, for me, utterly essential.
Play it loud.