Aborted's Maniacult: Belgian death masters swap bloodshed for bombast

Belgium's death/grind gorehounds Aborted go all in on the grandiosity on Maniacult

Aborted Maniacult album art detail
(Image: © Century Media)

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While none of their releases feature among death metal’s greatest moments, Aborted can certainly lay claim to be one of the genre’s most prolific and consistent bands. In fact, barely a year passes without a solid full-length or an EP from the Belgians, which is remarkable given their revolving door of members and the progression over the last 25 years.

Coming just a year after the lavish leanings of the La Grande Mascarade EP, it should come as no surprise that album 11 is another worthy of the Aborted seal of quality. From the opening title track that’s drenched in maniacal atmosphere, a hailstorm of notes and pummelling grooves, this is a band displaying a slick ownership of their craft, with every dynamic delivered with ruthless precision. But rather than a cold exercise in exactitude, Maniacult takes the aforementioned EP’s lust for grandiosity and ups the ante. From the sinister Portal To Vacuity and Dementophobia, creeping along in a fiendishly macabre manner, to the final wall of sound that is I Prediletti: The Folly Of The Gods, it’s an album that revels in disparate moods.

Founding member Sven de Caluwé continues to develop his cavalcade of voices and the supremely talented rhythm section keeps the classic horrorshow of Drag Me To Hell from careering off the tracks, but Maniacult’s ace in the hole is now-sole six-stringer Ian Jekelis. Not only are the technical riffs as dazzling as required, it’s when the frantic runs cease that he can let rip with some masterful lead work that stands tall among Impetus Odi and Ceremonial Ineptitude. Though it might be a touch too polished for those looking for something exclusively grubby and grisly, Aborted’s approach of taking the sweetest meats from death metal’s gruesome platter ensures Maniacult has something for everyone to sink their teeth into.

Maniacult is released on September 10 via Century Media

Adam Brennan

Rugby, Sean Bean and power ballad superfan Adam has been writing for Hammer since 2007, and has a bad habit of constructing sentences longer than most Dream Theater songs. Can usually be found cowering at the back of gigs in Bristol and Cardiff. Bruce Dickinson once called him a 'sad bastard'.