"Global Flatline"

(Century Media)

01. Omega Mortis
02. Global Flatline
03. The Origin Of Disease
04. Coronary Reconstruction
05. Fecal Forgery
06. Of Scabs And Boils
07. Vermicular, Obscene, Obese
08. Expurgation Euphoria
09. From A Tepid Whiff
10. The Kallinger Theory
11. Our Father, Who Art Of Feces
12. Grime
13. Endstille

RATING: 8.5/10

You've got to hand it to ABORTED vocalist (and only remaining original member) Sven de Caluwé who remains committed to his craft through thick and thin. The journeyman extreme metaller has kept the wheels of his death grinding massacre machine lubricated for maximum mileage. On "Global Flatline" Caluwé leads the charge into the land of the undead with an album, the band's seventh, that brings together the textured and comparatively expansive style of brutality that characterized 2007's "Slaughter and Apparatus: A Methodical Overture" and 2008's "Strychnine.213" and the CARCASS-sized savagery that defined earlier albums like 2001's "Engineering the Dead".

Indeed the best of both worlds are represented on "Global Flatline" and while much attention will be paid to a sort of reestablishment or brutality, it is important to point out that this is no one dimensional affair. While some of the ABORTED purists found fault with the broadening of bases on the last couple of albums, it is exactly those elements, not the least of which includes an acceptably strong sense of melody (often through smartly written leads), that gives "Global Flatline" more staying power than the average death metal album.

Caluwé's super aggressive dual-vocal approach — both the guttural lows and psychotic mid-range screams are always a point of distinction — and that certain way of getting more chunk for the buck out of every riff and rhythm pattern are here in spades. After intro "Omega Mortis", the gloves come off on a title track that seems to dare anyone to say that ABORTED has lost a step, softened edges, or misplaced the ability to decapitate with lethal precision. But the boundary stretching that has occurred over the years is just as important as the return to deadlier times, that reaping of benefits heard in a big way on the undeniable catchiness "Of Scabs and Boils". Frantic blasts at dangerously high speeds may abound, but the tempo variation and attention grabbing arrangement breaks enhances the impact. On "Vermicular, Obscene, Obese" it is the switch from murderous mayhem to the harmonic-scraped riff and diabolical groove, as well as a deliciously dreadful CANNIBAL CORPSE-style descending riff, that penetrates the brain. On the very next cut, "Expurgation Euphoria", which begins with an eerie piano segment, it is the thick 'n sick riff and insidious crawl that envelopes the listener.

Further bolstering the appeal of "Global Flatline" is the appearance of guest vocalists Trevor Strnad (THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER), Julien Truchan (BENIGHTED), Jason Netherton (MISERY INDEX), and Keijo Niinimaa (ROTTEN SOUND), all of whom enhance the album's appeal. Netherton's performance is most worth mentioning for somehow managing to push the intensity level of "Grime" into the goddamned stratosphere. Truchan's infected spew on "The Origin of Disease" is worth a shout-out as well, the song itself well deserving of its single/video status. But then several of these tracks would have been just as deserving of the designation.

Add to that all the crunch and crackle of Jacob Hansen's recording, mixing, and mastering, samples that are well placed instead of dropped into the mix sans forethought, and zombiefied artwork from Justin Osbourn (Slasher Design) that is fitting as hell and "Global Flatline" becomes the complete ABORTED package. This is the deadliest ABORTED has sounded in years and they made it happen without abandoning the gains in songwriting that have been made over the last several years. The more you listen, the more you'll hear, and the more you'll appreciate this bloody good time of a death metal album.


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