2 Ophialtry on a Hemocite Platter
4 Pestiferous Subterfuge
5 The Chyme Congeries
6 A Murmur in Decrepit Wits
7 Enterrement of an Idol
8 Hereditary Bane
9 Avarice of Vilification
10 The Obfuscate
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I have magnificent dreams of being magically transported to a backwoods cabin where a couple of true grindhead’s sit high-fiving, listening to legends like Cannibal Corpse and Carcass. In my hand I carry a copy of Aborted’s new album, Strychnine.213. I forcefully slap it into their lousy CD player and crank it up to 11. Smiles slowly spread across their faces and heads begin to nod. Mission accomplished.
Aborted are officially one of a few who have been entrusted with the future of extreme death metal/grindcore and are pushing both genres to new heights. “Carrion” begins with an ominous breakdown that warns of impending brutality while a voice that sounds remarkably like Jigsaw murmurs unintelligibly in the background about murder and other scary shit, I'm assuming. Aborted reportedly went with a serial-killer theme on this record and they get a few points for creepiness, especially with the help of Colin Marks’s unsettling artwork.
“Ophialtry on a Hemocite Platter” is the first real song and it’s furious. Sven del Caluwe’s guttural growl and Dan Wilding’s relentless drumming get to work immediately and don’t let off the pedal for the next 35 minutes. Yes, the album is under 40 minutes long and that is one of its only weaknesses, the other being that Strychnine.213 really doesn’t have a definite single to it; all of the songs are good but one doesn’t stand particularly above the rest. “Pestiferous Subterfuge” is the closest the band gets (it might be this album’s “The Chondrin Enigma”) because of its identifiable verse and chorus structure and excellent vocal work by Caluwe. He easily switches between a low bellow and a snarl that scares while Peter Goemaere’s and Sebastien Tuvi’s guitars duel and swirl.
“135” closes with a guitar solo that’s epic enough to quiet the doubters and “The Chyme Congeries” again features some interesting fretwork and effects that definitely warrants the “progressive” descriptor that’s thrown around to describe the band.
A momentary respite is granted in the form of another creepy clip of dialogue at the beginning of “A Murmur in Decrepit Wits” from a serial killer whose identity I wish I knew. The album finishes with a stretch of songs that do not disappoint and closer, “The Obfuscate”, ends with the double bass fading into an Opeth-esque wandering guitar riff.
With four full releases since 2003, it’s a wonder that Aborted can pump out so much material and push the limits of their genres each time. Capable of being respected by both purists and newcomers, this is one of 2008’s best metal releases.