Damn. Has it really been 13 years since Goremageddon? That record was a game changer for sure. It saw Aborted shed its skin from a standard death metal with pretty shotty production into a megaton explosion of speedy grinding death. It was something that hadn’t really been heard since Carcass’ Nercroticism but with a healthy dose of death metal to offset the grind. Unfortunately, they appeared to have listened to too many people talking about the “sick breakdowns” (most notably in The Saw & The Carnage Done) and started to take that into account on subsequent records and drifted into that deathcore/metalcore territory. Global Flatline would see the band start to right the ship and start to distance itself from the abysmal, Strychnine.213 record and get back to their death/grind roots.

I think it’s safe to say that lead singer/band mastermind/only original member Sven de Caluwé has learned his lesson by now and has once again delivered us another Aborted record that we can give a shit about. Gone are the days of trying to please too large of an audience and he has directed the band to continue to write nothing but delicious slabs of death. I would even go as far as to say they have decided to go back and borrow some of the ideas that made Goremageddon work. Retrogore is probably the most appropriate title for this record as it’s definitely a trip to the past. The Carcass worship is full on display again and aside from just borrowing the speedy licks from the old Carcass records, there is a lot of melody scattered throughout this as if to say “yeah we can borrow from Heartwork too”. That’s not to say that this isn’t without its own originality. There are still some punishing chuggier riffs that are reminiscent of the Engineering The Dead days as well and with it being essentially an entirely new lineup once again, each band members sprinkles in some of their own styles as well.

What I really love about this record is that it’s a complete record. I’ve stated before that I like for my albums to be musical journeys of sorts. I don’t want 10 songs of the same thing but I’d also like for it to not stray too far from the path as to sound like a mess of ideas either. In Retrogore, you can listen to it start to finish, shuffle the entire record, or just pluck out songs at random and it doesn’t matter. Each song is strong enough to stand on its own or accompany the rest of the material in whatever order you want to play it.

Unfortunately for Aborted they have seem to become just another face in the crowd when it comes to the “brutal death metal” scene but these guys were the inspiration for a lot of those current bands doing that thing and they have proven this late in their career that they can do it without going for the cheap tricks. Sure they dabbled and learned their lesson and I think it will prove dividends for the continuing longevity of the band. Some of the current deathcore bands should take a listen to Retrogore and learn how to do it right without compromising song and album integrity.