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Aborted - "Retrogore" (CD)

Aborted - "Retrogore" CD cover image

"Retrogore" track listing:

1. Dellamorte Dellamore
2. Retrogore
3. Cadaverous Collection
4. Whoremageddon
5. Termination Redux (Album Version)
6. Bit by Bit
7. Divine Impediment
8. Coven of Ignorance
9. The Mephitic Conundrum
10. Forged in Decrepitude
11. From Beyond (The Grave)
12. In Avernus

Reviewed by on April 13, 2016

"Do I still recommend, “Retrogore?” Absolutely but with the caveat that the previous album was better."

A follow-up to an album that raised the bar is always going to be a tough proposition. While Aborted has never released a bad album,“The Necrotic Manifesto” was a game changer for both the band and death metal in general. Coming into its own sound with “Goremageddon” and sticking to that sound with minor detours into melodic death metal on “The Archaic Abattoir,” deathcore on “Strychnine.213,” and thrash metal on “Global Flatline,” but always sounding like nobody else, Aborted has always been one of the most consistent death metal bands in the world. That's why it pains me to say this, but “Retrogore” is a good album on its own but a poor follow-up.

That said, Aborted has always been much catchier and more interesting than most brutal death metal. Bands like Enmity and Mortician lose their unending battle with how forgettable they are. When a band is a strong exception to that rule, expectations wind up being higher and Aborted is capable of more.

“Retrogore” doesn't manage to top “The Necrotic Manifesto” nor does it head in a new direction, It just provides another Aborted album. Much like Slayer's “Divine Intervention” after “Seasons in The Abyss,” it's a follow-up for an album that was already nearly perfect and is condemned to forever be in the shadow. It's important to be critical of artists you love rather than shower them with praise, so while I overall liked “Retrogore,” Aborted can and has done better and that raises my expectations.

Don't get me wrong, it's still a good album. “Whoremageddon” and “The Mephetic Conundrum” are the two best songs Aborted ever recorded. I can easily see these two becoming part of the band's setlists for years to come. “Cadaverous Collection,” “From Beyond (The Grave)” and “Termination Redux” are also strong runners up for me. The songs are good on their own but don't flow as well as they could and the album wouldn't lose much if “Coven of Ignorance,” “Forged For Decripitude” and “In Avernus” were cut.

Sven's vocal patterns are always a joy to listen to. He's consistently interesting. Both his lows and highs and the way that he's effortlessly able to pull off highs without showing any signs of wearing his throat out is incredible. He's complimented by Mendel bij de Liej, who is one of the few guitarists that can still do anything interesting with breakdowns and writes some seriously catchy riffs when he isn't shredding. He's an incredibly underrated guitarist who needs more recognition. Let it never be said that Aborted lacks chops. It's just a shame that the band seems to be stuck operating at 90% efficiency.

Do I still recommend, “Retrogore?” Absolutely, but with the caveat that the previous album was better. It's like recommending White Zombie's “Astro Creep: 2000” over “La Sexorcisto” or Metallica's black album over “And Justice For All.” It's good but not as good as the previous creative triumph.

Highs: Sven's Vocals are solid as always. Mendel bij de Leij's guitar playing, “The Mephetic Conundrum” and “Whoremageddon.”

Lows: Not as good as “The Necrotic Manifesto,” Could have done without some of the weaker tracks and lost nothing.

Bottom line: Still better than most brutal death metal, but Aborted is capable of more.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)