Aborted – Global Flatline (2012)

Several years ago, my brother brought home a copy of Goremageddon: The Saw and the Carnage Done by Aborted, which he had purchased from his biology teacher (as crazy as that sounds, it is a true story). I didn’t really like death metal at the time, let alone the gorier bands, so I was somewhat disgusted by the album artwork. I was, however, curious as to how that type of music actually sounded. My curiosity eventually got the best of me and I popped the disc into my CD player and was blown away by the ferocity, rawness, and brutality of Aborted.

So here we are, approximately six years after my first exposure to the Belgian death metal masters known as Aborted. Despite the fact that 2012 has basically just begun, Global Flatline, the band’s seventh studio album, is one of the best albums of the year and I expect it to retain that title throughout the coming months. Global Flatline is everything you’d expect a brutal death metal album to be: fast, raw, aggressive, brutal, and, since it is Aborted we’re talking about here, gory.

Every song on Global Flatline serves its purpose and there is no filler other than the intro, but I feel that said intro has a function and sets the tone for the album that the listener is about to experience. Global Flatline is, for the most part, 50 minutes of face-smashing brutality. This is exactly what any brutal death metal album should strive to be. The best tracks on the album, in my opinion, are The Origin of Disease, Global Flatline, Of Scabs and Boils, and Vermicular, Obscene, Obese, although every track on the album is solid.

While having guest vocalists is not completely new for Aborted, it works incredibly well on Global Flatline and they are the best guest spots on any Aborted album to date. Julien Truchan of Benighted, Trevor Strnad of The Black Dahlia Murder, Jason Netherton of Misery Index, and Keijo Niinimaa of Rotten Sound all do a commendable job and really make certain tracks stand apart from the rest. My favorite guest vocals on Global Flatline are delivered by Trevor Strnad on Vermicular, Obscene, Obese. Trevor’s shrieking high-pitched screams combined with Sven’s own demonic screams is one of the best vocal combinations I’ve heard in my many years of listening to metal.

The musicianship is, as always, top notch. For some of the musicians, this is the first time that they have been featured on an Aborted album. While they certainly had considerable shoes to fill, they all do an outstanding job. The breakneck pace of the music is perfect for a brutal death metal album, although the band does know how to effectively switch from fast to slow. A majority of the songs on Global Flatline are incredibly fast, but there are slower songs, such as Enstille and Expurgation Euphoria. These slower songs do not feel out of place at all and they contribute a great deal to the album. Sven’s vocals are still just as good as they were on early Aborted albums. One thing that I particularly enjoy about the vocals is Sven’s ability to transition from high-pitched screams to low-pitched growls (and vice versa) mid-line.

With Global Flatline, Aborted continues to bring us some of the best brutal death metal in the scene. It’s everything brutal death metal should be and nothing it shouldn’t be. Global Flatline is easily the most brutal album of 2012 thus far and I expect it to remain near the top, or possibly at the very top, of that list as the year progresses. Global Flatline is the best thing Aborted has released since their 2005 effort, The Archaic Abattoir, and is one of the best brutal death metal albums of the last several years.

By Mike O’Hara ~ Me Gusta Reviews