Aborted – Retrogore (Century Media)

Genre: Death Metal

Aborted are a prolific bunch, having racked up nine albums in 17 years. And while you might worry that would make the Belgian deathsters a little ‘by numbers’, the fact that there’s so much new blood sharing studios and stages with founding frontman Sven De Caluwe is keeping their writing fresh.

In fact, Retrogore is dunked deep in creative juices, with more atmosphere, more moments of virtuoso musicianship and more outright malevolence than you’ll find on 2014’s The Necrotic Manifesto.

As good as its predecessor was, this opus is a darker affair and all the better for it. It’s catchy too, with Coven of Ignorance catching you full in the face with some barbed hooks, and Cadaverous Collection boasting barrage after barrage spectacular riffery. Indeed, guitarists Mendel bij de Leij  and Ian Jekelis do their craft proud, both in their deft rhythm work and via some red hot soloing (check out the leads on the title track and you’ll see what we mean).

It’s very clear De Caluwe has assembled a talented cast here: the singer’s bandmates support his ferocious vocal onslaught with an assault that blends brutality with technical nous. The results are formidable, and Retrogore is a great result… for both Aborted and modern death metal.