I love Aborym’s earlier work, but after Generator I lost track of the band unfortunately, so Shifting.negative is my first experience with them in about ten years or so. What a shocking omission on my part! This review will inevitably come from this viewpoint, as I have missed out on their last two albums, which would probably, (I imagine), have given me a more smoother transition to the current incarnation of Aborym.
It seems that Aborym continue to mutate, evolve and survive. Featuring a massive cast of guest contributors, this album has the largest gene pool yet to draw on for its delivery.
Largely gone are the band’s black metal influences in any real functional way, instead we get an album that’s quite different from their underground roots, yet is still suffused with black metal’s spirit and manages to foster feelings of blackened atmospheres in places, if not the actual style itself.
Shifting.negative leans more than ever to their industrial/experimental side. This doesn’t mean that guitars are absent, nor is the metal content, but this is a different band than some of their earlier work for sure.
With elements of industrial, darkwave pop and harsh electro, this is a diverse and enjoyable collection of tracks that sees the band mixing parts of their earlier work with elements of bands as diverse as Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, Marilyn Manson, Deathstars, The Kovenant, Red Harvest and Theatre of Tragedy, (well, some of their work in places, at least).
At lot of the work on Shifting.negative is designed to get you moving. I can imagine it going down quite well in the live environment. As well as their more upbeat, dance floor moments though, my preference on Shifting.negative is for when they’re producing slow and/or atmospheric music. Some of the soundscapes they produce when they’re doing this are quite spellbinding. Second track Precarious is a great example of this for pure atmosphere-building. I also particularly like You Can’t Handle the Truth, with its apocalyptic start, before it descends into something Ministry might have produced.
And this is the thing – the majority of the tracks here combine the best of both worlds in some way or another, with upbeat moments juxtaposed against softer ones. 10050 Cielo Drive does both particularly well, transitioning from harder aggression to sensitive contemplation with ease, once again showing the band’s Nine Inch Nails influences, as well as a touch of The Kovenant in places.
For me this is very much an album that grows over time; maybe this was just my need to acclimatise to their new style, (well, new to me at least), but once I did and spent some time with this, there’s a lot to like and get your teeth into here.
I’ve enjoyed catching up with Aborym once more. Although they’re no longer the band I once knew, they’re a band I am now pleased to get to know all over again in a different capacity.
Check this out.