Hailing from Waregem, Belgium, Aborted are considered to be key players in both the brutal death metal and grind genres. Having released music through international metal label Century Media since their 2007 effort Slaughter and Apparatus: A Methodical Overture, and having split EPs with death metal staples such as Misery Index and Exhumed, the band has been carving a legacy in gore and viscera for well over two decades. With their latest EP La Grande Mascarade, the Loudwire-nominated best metal band of Belgium brings forth three worthy offerings chock-full of blast beats, brutal riffing, and graphic lyrical imagery.
The breakneck, pedal-to-the-floor “Gloom and the Art of Tribulation” opens up with a distorted and sampled voice, before the band kicks in with dissonant guitar chords and blast beats aplenty. The verse sees triplets, guttural vocals, and a frantic pacing. Lyrically, the persona is trapped in a maze (possibly literal) and despair is creeping in. Dizzying dual leads and loads of sweep picking make for a great guitar solo before the bottom falls out, as the breakdown section is half-time and chuggier than a college party. It’s thrashing and violent, and therefore it succeeds.
“Serpent of Depravity” is full of old-school death metal goodness, switching from palm-muted chugging to fast-picked riffs at the drop of a hat. The lyrics name drop Medusa, calling her “abominable temptress, so profound and deep.” This is far from a love song, or at the very least, Aborted have a funny way of professing love, as this song is crushing in its execution.
Closing the EP is “Funereal Malediction,” sickening in lyrics and in its brutality. Necrophilic in nature, I now realize that I may have jumped the gun on my love song line. In any case, this song is worth reading the lyrics to, and the machine gun kick work by drummer Ken Bedene keeps this song rooted in classic death, while working in plenty of grind to keep things fresh. Unlike, you know, the cadavers mentioned in the lyrics.
Joking aside, this is a sonic blast of an EP, clocking in at barely under twelve minutes. Aborted go three for three with La Grande Mascarade, bringing their years of brutality and technique to make for an exciting listen. Death metal has never been for the faint of heart, and Aborted make sure that remains so here.