ABORTED — Maniacult (review)

ABORTED — Maniacult album cover Album · 2021 · Brutal Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
UMUR
"Maniacult" is the 11th full-length studio album by Belgian death metal act Aborted. The album was released through Century Media Records in September 2021, almost 3 years to the day from the release of "Terrorvision (2018)". The two full-length albums are however bridged by the 2020 "La grande mascarade" EP. There´s been one lineup change since the release of "Terrorvision (2018)" as guitarist Mendel bij de Leijhas has left, and as the band have opted not to recruit a new second guitarist the quartet lineup who recorded "La grande mascarade" is intact on "Maniacult" with Ian Jekelis handling all guitars on the album.

"Maniacult" is a concept album release telling the story of horror author H.P. Lovecraft's fictional character Francis Wayland Thurston, who attempts to summon demons (the Lovecraftian types) to bring upon the end of the world. A classic H.P. Lovecraft theme. Thurston appeared in the 1928 Lovecraft short story "The Call of Cthulhu".

Stylistically the material on "Maniacult" is unmistakably the sound of Aborted. Brutal and technically well played death metal with Sven de Caluwé´s deep growling and high pitched aggressive snarling vocals in front. Aborted have always been an incredibly well playing act despite the multible lineup changes throughout the band´s history, but listening to "Maniacult" it quickly becomes apparent that it´s one of the band´s more sophisticated and memorable releases. de Caluwé´s vocals have always been one of the greatest assets of the band´s sound, but Aborted also excel in tempo changes and in different death- and thrash metal riffing- and drumming styles (including some ultra heavy breakdowns and even a few black metal oriented sections). The Carcass influence has always been strong in Aborted´s music, and that´s also true on "Maniacult". Just listen to the opening section of "Dementophobia", which sounds like something culled from "Heartwork (1993)".

The icing on the cake is the lead guitar work though...Jekelis deserves a special mention for his playing on "Maniacult" and for having such great impact on how memorable the tracks are. He brings a melodic touch to Aborted´s music, but still manages not to dillute the brutality and aggression of the music. It´s always a delicate balance to strike, bringing melodic elements to music this brutal, as fans of the genre often feel that melody dillutes the brutality of the music, but when it´s done right (like it´s done here), a melodic element can actually provide a brutal death metal release with something it seldom features...catchiness and memorability beyond its playing time. One other thing that needs to be mentioned about "Maniacult" is how darkly atmospheric it often is. Something which is only enhanced by the intro track "Verderf" and the eerie instrumental track "Verbolgen", which is a short breather track in the middle of the album.

"Maniacult" features a meaty, clear, and brutal sounding production job, which suits the material perfectly. Definitely one of the better productions on an Aborted album so far. Paired with the high level musicianship and the effectful and memorable songwriting, the sound production is just another piece in the puzzle to make "Maniacult" the high quality death metal release it is. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.
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UMUR wrote:
10 days ago
The below mentioned albums that is :-) (not the early goregrind, although those are great too).
UMUR wrote:
10 days ago
I´ve learned that people have very different preferences when it comes to Aborted (some for example swear only to the early gore grinding death metal releases), but that´s the three albums I´d recommend.
11 days ago
Thanks Jonas, I will check those albums out. This was my first experience listening to them.
UMUR wrote:
11 days ago
I´m not a huge fan of every Aborted album out there, but they have a few really great albums in their discography that I always return to, and I´m sure this will be one of those too. The others are The Archaic Abattoir and Retrogore.
12 days ago
I've been enjoying this one a lot too. Nice write up

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