Since 1995, Belgium’s Aborted have been dropping release after release of consistently good death metal. Though their debut, ‘The Purity Of Perversion’, was a solid slab of grindcore with more visceral imagery in it than a medical dictionary, the band have come a long way since then. Albums like the amazingly-titled ‘Goremageddon’, ‘The Archaic Abbatoir’ and ‘Global Flatline’ have always kept the band on the radar for death metal fans throughout the world, making ‘The Necrotic Manifesto’ one of the most anticipated metal albums in a long time.
The wonderful thing about ‘The Necrotic Manifesto’ is that it mixes elements of grindcore, deathcore-type breakdowns and melodic lead-work with a technical flair, all of which were parts of their sound at different points in their career. When it’s all mixed together in tracks like ‘The Extirpation Agenda’, ‘Your Entitlement Means Nothing’ or finale ‘Cenobites’, the result is an absolutely uncompromising assault on the ears that few bands can deliver.
The drumming on this record is, as expected, absolutely on point. Percussionist Ken Bedene has been drumming for Aborted for nearly half a decade, and he sounds so confident behind the kit. His faster sections are astonishing and the slower sections hit so hard, made harder by the juxtaposition between the difference in tempos.
It seems like the second half of the record is definitely the weaker of the two, with ‘Sade & Libertine Lunacy’ being completely forgettable, aside from the ridiculous pronunciation of “lunacy” in the hook of the song. ‘Die Verzweiflung’ is a much slower track, although it could definitely be seen as polarising. It lasts a little under two and a half minutes and lacks any real substance, aside from the harmonic in the main riff which sounds cool and interesting to start with, but becomes annoying after you’ve heard it over twenty-five times.
That’s not to say the second half of the album isn’t enjoyable. ‘Excremental Veracity’ offers solid riffs throughout, a brilliantly put-together solo with a slight technical edge to it and some absolutely inhumane gutturals around the thirty-second mark; a vocal style many listeners would like to hear more of. Vocal-wise, singer and the only remaining original member, Sven de Caluwé, is an absolute monster. As usual, his vocals throughout the record are manic and highly-varied, a trait which has been his forté since the band’s blood-soaked beginnings.
Overall, ‘The Necrotic Manifesto’ is another absolutely stellar collection of tracks to add to the band’s already vast and enjoyable discography. It’s not the most original or refreshing piece of death metal, but eight full-length records into their career and the band still hit as hard as ever. Despite there being some flaws that become more and more obvious with repeated listens, the Belgian titans are still one of the strongest and most iconic groups in the game.
Written by Jack Boaden