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Aborym - "Shifting.negative" (CD)

Aborym - "Shifting.negative" CD cover image

"Shifting.negative" track listing:

1. Unpleasantness
2. Precarious
3. Decadence in a nutshell
4. 10050 cielo drive
5. Slipping through the cracks
6. You can't handle the truth
7. For a better past
8. Tragedies for sales
9. Going new places
10. Big H

Reviewed by on December 28, 2016

"There's a much cleaner sound this time, with a hard left turn into early / mid Nine Inch Nails territory."

“Shifting.negative” is a massively different affair from the aptly-titled previous album “Dirty,” which was industrial with an extreme metal attitude. That album made me question if maybe I was a bad person for listening to songs with titles like “Raped By Daddy.” By comparison, “Shifting.negative” is practically easy-listening industrial.

There's a much cleaner sound this time, with a hard left turn into early / mid Nine Inch Nails territory. “Precarious” in particular has a “Fragile” or “Pretty Hate Machine” feel to it with the piano accents and the whispered vocal delivery. When the guitar part comes in I'd almost swear this was a lost NIN track freshly released by Trent Reznor.

It's easy to see while listening through exactly why band mastermind Fabban was so adamant the band no longer be referred to as industrial black metal for this album cycle, as the “black” aspect is essentially gone, although several tracks very much retain the metal. “Decadence In A Nutshell” in particular has more of a heavy feel to the guitar riffs and faster vocals.

From the pure industrial excursions to the mixed industrial metal offerings, “Shifting.negative” ends up being a varied release, with a noticeable difference in and tone and speed between each track. “You Can't Handle The Truth” is a very odd track, heavy on the atmosphere and entirely instrumental for the first half before switching gears to voiceovers for vocals. “For A Better Past” meanwhile is a freeform song offering a weird, fuzzy, sound-effect laden listen. Every now and again you get some of that trademark misanthropy back in, like with the cry of “If I start murdering people, there will be none of you left” on “10050 Cielo Drive.”

While no longer extreme metal or a devastatingly dirty listening experience, Aborym's newly revamped sound is still worth hearing for industrial fans as Fabban and the new lineup put their own twist on this well-traveled sound.

Highs: Lots to love for fans of Nine Inch Nails

Lows: The black metal aspect is entirely gone, although there's still plenty of heaviness

Bottom line: Aborym heads away from extreme metal and towards a more pure industrial sound

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)