Listening to Shifting.negative makes me want to apologize. To all members of Aborym, and particularly mainman Fabrizio “Fabban” Giannese – I’m sorry for whatever conditions existed in your lives that caused you to think creating this album was a good idea. I also want to apologize to curious listeners, who may have seen Aborym’s past works compared to Anaal Nathrakh and Blut Aus Nord and assumed Shifting was another misanthropic, industrial black metal romp.

But this is not industrial black metal. This is not black metal at all. This is what happens in an alternate universe where Illud Divinum Insanus is heralded as a rousing success and other extreme metal acts decide to follow suit. This is what happens when you binge on Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, and Rammstein and decide you can do your own take on mid-90s industrial rock, as long as you label it “experimental” and include enough guest musicians to run a Taco Bell. This is what happens when deviating from your roots goes terribly, terribly wrong.

In Shifting’s 47-minute runtime, there are a grand total of three good ideas. That’s right – three. I could literally count the number of good ideas here on one hand and I still wouldn’t have enough fingers up to jerk off with it. Accolades go to the Mogwai-esque piano that concludes closer “Big H,” the dirty minor-key riff in “Going New Places,” and the somewhat catchy, Trent Reznor-inspired chorus of opener “Unpleasantness.” In fact, despite its title serving as a fitting description for the album as a whole, “Unpleasantness” is the only wholly passable track here, with its pounding synthetic beats, industrial Rammstein-style riffs, and aforementioned half-decent refrain serving as a mildly promising opening.

Unfortunately, the remaining nine tracks wallow in the type of generic, uninspired, industrial rock tripe that went out of style with JNCO jeans and Limp Bizkit shirts. “Decadence in a Nutshell” is an early offender, combining a stomping pace with dissonant Mudvayne-style guitars, with some post-grunge wailing in the chorus that will make you wonder how many times you can punch yourself in the balls before losing consciousness. Follow-up “10050 Cielo Drive” attempts to drum up excitement with black metal rasps and industrialized blastbeats, but any hope of success is immediately destroyed by the weird children’s choir sample and the lyrical gem “If I start murdering people – there’ll be none of you left!” Tracks that aren’t outright cringe-worthy are simply dull and nondescript. Take “For a Better Past,” which after multiple listens I still can’t remember a single second of.

Shifting also suffers from an annoying pacing issue that stems from the bizarre choice of placing the six-minute atmospheric piece “Precarious” as the second song on the album. While the droning ambiance, whispered crooning, and melodic doom leads may have worked as a fine closer or penultimate track, placing it so early in the runtime saps a lot of Shifting’s momentum early on. On the plus side, the rich atmosphere on “Precarious” does showcase the records’ decent production. While built off a boomy and sterile modern rock sound, the DR is surprisingly high, and the mix features layers of wonky digital noises and wild guitar solos that at least makes things feel busy. The beats have plenty of electronic oomph and the riffs buzz like a farting Terminator which is fitting, I guess. Vocally, Fabban attempts to instill variety with styles ranging from strained whispers to wet rasps to alt-rock crooning. None are particularly noteworthy, but at least it prevents everything from sounding the same.

All that considered, is Shifting really a complete abomination? Actually, yes. Yes it is. If given the choice between listening to this album again and getting a prostate exam from Edward Scissorhands, I’d grab the Astrolube and grit my teeth. While I’ve often applauded bands that shrug off expectations and make the music they want to make, when the results are this abysmal it shows how important it is for groups to retain some self-awareness before making stylistic leaps like this. I began this review with an apology, but now I feel like it’s Aborym who owe the world an apology for inflicting this atrocity upon it. For anyone looking for the perfect soundtrack for their basement torture chamber, Shifting.negative may be a great purchase. Everyone else? Avoid like a MRSA-infested Hot Topic.


Rating: 1.0/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 256 kbps mp3
Label: Agonia Records
Websites: facebook.com/aborymofficial | aborym.it
Releases Worldwide: January 25th, 2017

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  • AlphaBetaFoxface

    best review of the year thus far

    • GardensTale

      I humbly pass the crown after my Akoma write-up. I need to find an even worse record to review…

      • AlphaBetaFoxface

        At least you had the best review of the year thus far that wasn’t this review, GuiTarTransformer

        • GardensTale

          Thanks, AlbequerqueBerlinFlorida! Your compliments warm my heart.

          • AlphaBetaFoxface

            No problem, GooberTart!

  • Dr. Wvrm

    You need more than 3 fingers to tug it? Son, you aren’t trying very hard.

    • AjmsaenZ

      Agreed, really all you need is one ok idea and the will power.

      • BernBern17

        Look mum, NO HANDS!!

  • antitayyip

    i hate rammstein… reminds me diary of dreams

  • Dethjesta

    I was a big (very big) fan of Industrial Metal/Rock in the 90s but it’s all been done, that’s why there’s basically no new Industrial Metal about these days (except a couple of old bands who rigidly stick to their established sound).

    A lot of this sounds like they tried to copy NIN without understanding what makes NIN compelling.

  • Merijn Kooijman

    Nice review.

    It made me check Aborym’s back catalogue, which was a good thing to do.

    • Daniel Ritson

      A very, very good thing to do. Aborym were once a top three personal fav of mine – I thought I’d have purchased a recording of them taking a shit. Now that they’ve actually gone and produced that recording, I’ve changed my mind. This is just depressing.

  • Zach Ward

    Within 10 words you already made it clear the record was bad. Nice job there lol, could’ve been super blunt and straight up said “This Album sucks” but that wouldn’t make for a good review now would it? Well it’d be funny as hell to me.

    • Zach Ward

      Also the line “I could literally count the number of good ideas here on one hand and I still wouldn’t have enough fingers up to jerk off with it” is easily the funniest thing I have ever read on this site. Props to you sir

  • Ugo Poifol

    “If I start murdering people – there’ll be none of you left!”

    I don’t know what you mean by your ironic ‘lyrical gem’ (whether it sucks or if the sample has been overused), but this Charles Manson (?) sample has actually been used to great effect by Dark Fortress on the track Iconoclasm Omega.

  • LExpoZiod

    Mark’s negative reviews give new meanings to life.

    • Mephisto

      And we are the flies digging in on the fresh corpses

  • Dammage

    There’s a certain elegance and charm to writing negative reviews and Mark, I think you may have perfected that formula.

  • Oscar Albretsen

    You can easily jerk off with three fingers, so long as one of them is the thumb.

    • Grymm

      *sings theme to “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles*

    • Tofu muncher

      This is because I clicked PLAY: I have come upon the knowledge that thumbs are not fingers; we have only eight fingers (plus two thumbs). I had fun time explaining this mindblowing truer that true factual fact to my students (yeah yeah I was a teacher).

      • Oscar Albretsen

        Pfft, thumbs aren’t fingers. Next you’re gonna be telling me that the big toe isn’t a toe!

        • Tofu muncher

          Mother toe to be exact.

  • Fabrizio

    Dear Mark Z., maybe you should change job or probably you should continue doing reviews of boring black metal albums instead of talking about something you are not familiar with. This album is not for you, and this makes me happy.

    • Oberon

      Now, I’m curious, are you Mr. Giannese of Aborym?

      I’ve never heard any of your work and I’m interested in diving in to Aborym’s back catalog

      • Psychogrotesque is amazing, as is With No Human Intervention.

    • Alexandre Barata

      It’s not for me neither, and Mark Z made a bad job making me waste time listening to the embedded song

  • I made it though 0.56 seconds of the embedded track… I’m not getting those back, am I?

    It’s like there’s not a complete thought there… I love the bands you referenced – NIN, Manson and Rammstein… Aborym dropped the ball here IMO.

  • Grymm

    *presses “Play”*

    …jeeeeeeeeezus.

    *stops at 1:34, cries*

    • The Unicorn

      I made it to 0:14. Never again.

  • Akerblogger

    You bloody people on this bloody site wouldn’t be able to point out true innovation if it slapped you in your ugly, elitist faces with a didgeridoo connected to a Moog. This is THE future of music. This is music’s equivalent of the flying car. This is Blade Runner in musical form. I’m quite frankly ashamed to see so many people supporting your sub-par review. You’ll give 3.5’s and 4.0’s to derivative tosh that sounds like every other single-celled amoeba of an “extreme” metal band, but when a band actually comes along and tries to really change the landscape of music for the greater good you cast it aside like some cheap knock-off. This website has really gone down hill since you’ve expanded operations. It stinks of corporate corruption. Good day.

    • Grymm

      …gimme back my didigeridoo.

      • Akerblogger

        Come and get it, corporate drone!

        • Grymm

          You do NOT mess with a man-cat and his long-misplaced corporate didigeridoo (with MIDI/USB connections).

    • manimal

      That song intro sounds an awful lot like Wish, by NIN.

      I had no idea ’92 was the future.

      • Joshua Walker

        Makes me think of Rob Zombie as well.

    • Mephisto

      I think you mean the future in the form of AI with three fingers and the only function to jerk you off and calculate the exact time to make you come and then doesn’t?

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Ah, the flying car! Every little kid thinks it’s awesome and it should be the future of transportation. People with the slightest bit of common sense realize it would be useless in real life. Is that what you mean when you say this music is the equivalent of the flying car?

    • Felchmeister777

      You’re misguided mate…

  • Excentric_13073

    I’m usually of the opposite opinion, but holy frig, I think you’ve overrated this… I’m so sorry you had to listen to this many, many times. I mean that genuinely.

    I would rather listen to Static-X. There, I said it.

    • Reese Burns

      I’d take this over Static-X. This just makes me want to listen to actual black metal, where Static-X just makes me want to die.

    • sir_c

      you can leave out the “-X”. I think I’d even prefer the raw output of a radio telescope.

  • I.B. Hurtin

    I don’t like a steady diet of it but I still listen to 90’s industrial bands on occasion. This sounds like a bad knock-off from when every poser band wanted to be NIN. It’s just bad, not experimental.

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    I kept reading it as ‘Shiting’ which was very distracting

    • IBlackened

      It would be the honest title of this album .

      • Honest metal album titles, now there’s a meme waiting to happen.

  • Norfair Legend

    Haha, at like 2:50 they just straight up rip off NIN with no regard whatsoever. I mean, like verbatim, not just the casual ripping off throughout the rest of the song. What have Aborym gone and done?

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      You mean the soft piano and crooning part? It is such a “March Of The Pigs” rip off I was seriously expecting the guy to sing the “doesn’t it make you feel better” line.

  • basenjibrian

    Was Akerblogger just kidding here? I read through his other comments on this site and…

    • Well, he’s one of our writers, so I’m pretty sure he’s kidding.

      • basenjibrian

        OK. My bad. Didn’t recognize the name. Since you have expanded so much the past few months, I cannot even keep straight all the corporate toilers cranking out the content!
        (LOL)

        • Grymm

          Yes, he writes for us corporate wankers. AND HE HAS MY DIDIGERIDOO.

          • Chigo

            That’s what she said. Or he. I can’t decide which set of genitalia “didigeridoo” is better slang for.

      • The Unicorn

        FIRE THE BASTARD! MUTINY!!

  • Dead1

    “I could literally count the number of good ideas here on one hand and I still wouldn’t have enough fingers up to jerk off with it. ”

    Brilliant!

    • sir_c

      Don’t underestimate the power of the unihorny

  • iiixf

    The embedded track is just abso-fockin’-goddam-lutely unlistenable, it sounds like someone was just starting to learn how to use a sampler or a sequencer, totally amateurish.
    If you really dig “industrialness” in your metal (i.e. samplers, drum machines, techno-y or trance-y beats, glitchy noises or really deep and heavily distorted bass lines that drag you across the floor, fling at the walls and crush like a herd of elephants on acid) you better go to, say, TubeOvYou, enter something like “minatory deathstep” in the search field and wait for the apocalypse (ok, ordinary deathstep will also do the trick). Go for Mental Instability or Desolate channels for some really heavy aural bludgeoning.

    • GardensTale

      I remember …And Oceans to be a pretty solid combination of electro and black metal.

      • IBlackened

        I also enjoy Havoc Unit, their spiritual successor.

  • The Unicorn
    • Grymm

      Can’t. Unsee.

    • The Unicorn strikes again!

      • The Unicorn

        Never underestimate The Unicorn.

    • Brilliant!

    • sir_c

      this made me lol out loud

  • Meriyas

    Well fuck me, that embedded track was schizophrenic to the point of being headache inducing. Brilliant review, atrocious “music”.

  • Wilhelm

    This is just a tad more extreme than Mortiis and NIN, but otherwise the same deal, radio friendly pop song with some double bass triggered drums and a complete NIN ripoff, wow 3:43 sounds exactly like NIN “March of the Pigs” LOL I mean really? how embarrassing. I’ll listen to Kali Yuga Bizarre instead
    .

  • Treble Yell

    Ya know, I probably have one of the strongest stomachs among the staff when it comes to bands getting all experimental but even this was too much for me.

  • How nice to see such a negative stance toward an album whose promo I resolutely decided to avoid myself.

  • Deadacolyte

    Wait, artists who do whatever the fuck they want with their music? That’s disgusting.

  • IBlackened

    Now THIS is what I expect in a blog named ANGRY Metal Guy. It made me laugh quite a bit, but at the same time it’s sad ’cause I like Aborym first albums and now they officially suck.

  • Hammersmith

    This IS the darkest timeline.

  • sir_c

    It sounds like two adjacent bars with their doors open, both playing different music as loud as possible.

  • RuySan

    DR 8!

    That should at least make this a worthy contender for album of the month

  • GWW

    Sounds like 16 Volt, not Aborym.

  • herrschobel

    nine inch nails cover with a bad font choice…that´s what happens when you can´t afford David Carson