I’d been holding off on writing this review because, well, to be frank I’m no grind expert. While I have a working knowledge of most genres and pretty deep knowledge in a several, grind is not one of them. In full disclosure, I’ve not listened to the classics (except Carcass and Napalm Death and Nasum), and I’m probably even fucking up genres when I have discussions about what I think the classics are. So, to pretend to be authoritative on the subject would be disingenuous at best. Against my better judgement, when I got Aborted‘s Global Flatline I decided that I should review it anyway. But after listening to it about 10 times I realized I wasn’t quite sure how to put what I thought of it, which is kind of my.. job. So, that’s kind of awkward. I went back and listened to the band’s older material
Global Flatline, though, is kind of what you expect goregrind to be. It’s fast, loaded with pummeling riff after pummeling riff that… (let’s say…) pummels the listener into submission. Interspliced throughout the records are horror film clips that seem to range from the slightly sick to the truly grotesque. The feeling of utter depravity and musical extremity are contained within and the lyrics are also of a distinctly sick and extreme approach. While intro and outro “Omega Mortis” and “Endstille” are less shocking, the in between tracks like “Fecal Forgery,” “From a Tepid Whiff” and “Expurgation Europhoria” should give any curious listener a sense of what they’re in for. Unless this is “obviously metaphorical for the way the government and capitalism has continually raped the public at-large,” I’m guessing that Aborted isn’t exactly packing a lot of intellectual heft in these lyrics (assuming that’s your thing at all).
Instead, Global Flatline is unabashedly heavy, fast and riffy. The songs are short bursts of screaming energy (not much longer than 4 minutes ever and usually around 2:50), with healthy heaps of trem-picking, blast beats and a variety of vocal approaches. Between gurgles, growls, screams and layered combinations of these all, the variety of vocals helps to spice up the tracks with different textures and patterns. There are groovy death metal moments like at the end of “Vermicular, Obscene, Obese” and the beginning of “Expurgation Europhoria” that actually reminds me of some of Vomitory or Bloodbath‘s more doomy parts. Tracks like “From a Tepid Whiff,” “The Origin of Disease” and well, take your pick really, meet the listener head on with a more direct and violent approach with less groove and more brutality. And the final track “Endstille,” which is probably not the favorite of most of the band’s old school fanbase but is one of my favorite on the disc, is unapologetically melodic and mid-paced.
So, while the record conforms exactly to what you expect it to conform to, it’s also immensely enjoyable. The songs are good and they bring you back again and again. And while the soundclips from different films feel a tad clich at this point, it works well in this context (and “I am become death” quote has already been used once this year). So, sure, I’m no expert, but I really dug this album. Is it better than the last one that seemed to piss everyone off? Yeah, I think so. Is it as good as their earlier stuff? From what I heard, sure it is. But I’m not the one who will dictate which material is classic or not. It’s a kick ass death grind record full of addictive riffs, offensive lyrics and disgusting imagery. What more could you actually ask for?