Sometimes you’ve just got to sit back and appreciate simplicity. The first lyric here is “Retrogore!” The first non-introductory song is “Retrogore.” The album is Retrogore. Hell, Aborted is retrogore. There’s no other band more deserving of such a title. Their songs are filthy, dripping with the viscera of whichever woman they’ve just verbally brutalized, and their activity now spans over 20 years. The savage, no-fucks-given approach to death metal and grind spawned thousands of mindless brutal death bands – but none can claim to be so retro, have so much gore. You don’t need me to tell you which brand of music is contained herein but perhaps I can direct you as to its quality.
It would be entirely inappropriate to pull apart and analyze particular aspects of Retrogore. It’s relentlessly brutal, unashamedly straight-forward and unquestionably violent. Tracks such as “Cadaverous Collection,” “Whoremageddon” and “Forged for Decrepitude” will batter, pummel and hammer you – in fact, insert any other verb with aggressive connotations. Fat riffs, vigorous solos and a range of filthy vocals flesh out their sound. Nonetheless, despite their bullish demeanor, technical competence is high without ever approaching neat perfection or precision. The lead on “Cadaverous Collection” is almost clever in its fretboard gymnastics but the sludgy production tone and wafts of hostility prevent progress into anything which could be described as clean or progressive.
Given the record’s format of short and segregated tracks, comparisons between them are worthwhile. “Termination Redux” leaps into the unknown by introducing a sinister piano – it harmonizes well with its accompanying riff and the subsequent transition into an overpowering wall of noise is one of the album’s highlights. The blackened blasting of “Divine Impediment” is another, with evil grooves and an atmospheric tone. “From Beyond (the Grave)” has a doomy opening and the killer riffs lend themselves well to reckless headbanging. Tracks such as these are sure to appeal to existing fans but I like them since they are slightly different to the rest of their work.
On the other hand, other tracks are entirely superfluous. “Whoremageddon,” “Bit by Bit” and “Coven of Ignorance” largely chug along without note, save for the more interesting finale of the last. My rule of thumb on length recognizes that faster music necessitates shorter albums so I would prefer an immediate listen above one where I notice the duration. I wouldn’t miss these songs if they were cut, leaving a more concise 33 minutes rather than a bloated 44. I also think that the overall quality is probably lesser than that on previous albums. Retrogore is still an entirely reliable slice of goregrind, deviating little from their formula in a way that’s sure to please fans, but I would take Goremageddon or even Global Flatline above it.
And so just as Aborted is retrogore, Retrogore is Aborted. It hammers home their brutal credentials (they must be somewhere close to the Earth’s core given the frequency of this) and offers an appealing array of brutal death and goregrind numbers, with slender slivers of technicality, doom, thrash and black metal to hone their sound. I’d suggest that it isn’t their best work and a few tracks let the side down but it comes recommended for fans and noobs alike. Come revel in the bloody mess.