Aborym - Shifting.Negative album review

Italian industrialists have a celebratory meltdown

Cover art for Aborym's Shifting.Negative

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Given how resolutely peculiar they’ve always been, it might seem silly to say that Aborym have taken an unexpected left turn, but the reality is that Shifting.negative bears little resemblance to anything the Italians have done before. It also sounds like a band purposefully shrugging off their spiritual connection to the black metal scene, supplanted by old-school industrial influences.

Where earlier material exhibited kinship with the crazed machine worship of Dødheimsgard and Red Harvest, opener Unpleasantness sounds more like Jim ‘Foetus’ Thirlwell fronting early-90s pillocks Sheep On Drugs than anything more aesthetically Norwegian. Similarly, the more metallic tracks on the album, such as 10050 Cielo Drive, owe a debt to Ministry, NIN and Foetus, but it’s also the sound of Aborym having fun, which may not please too many underground purists. Bizarrely disarming in its gleeful counter-subversion – You Can’t Handle The Truth sounds like death metal Devo, for fuck’s sake – Shifting.negative is barking mad, intermittently brilliant and not what anyone was expecting. Hat’s off.

Dom Lawson

Dom Lawson has been writing for Metal Hammer and Prog for over 14 years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He also contributes to The Guardian, Classic Rock, Bravewords and Blabbermouth and has previously written for Kerrang! magazine in the mid-2000s.