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on 26 January 2014
Belgium's Aborted have carved a steady career for themselves in extreme music circles since their inception in 1995. The two albums included in the set; "Slaughter & Apparatus - A Methodical Overture" and "Strychnine.213" were released in 2007 and 2008 respectively and showcase a band moving away from their early deathgrind stylings and embracing a more mainstream death metal sound, a move that lost them as many fans as it gained them.

"Slaughter and Apparatus" is the heavier of the two albums, featuring a nice line in groove; hefty low-end riffs counterbalanced by the occasional melodic death flourish and impressive lead work and solos ("The Chrondrin Enigma"). The drummer, Psycroptic's David Haley puts in a fantastic shift behind the kit, blasting away for grim death while the vocals from Sven de Caluwe fluctuate between a low-end grunt and a shout that is reminiscent of In Flames vocalist Anders Friden. The twelve-track album concludes with a stunning reworking of Faith No More's "Surprise! Your Dead!"

"Strychnine.213" retains the heaviness of its predecessor but offers more in the way of melody and is probably as close as Aborted will ever come to being accessible. In fact the band flirt very close to melodic death territory throughout this album ("Ophiolatry on a Hemocite Platter" and "Pestiferous Subterfuge") which may explain the backlash from death metal purists, but the album still retains enough heaviness, technicality and interest to blow competitors out of the water. The production values lend the album a real wall of sound effect, with no elements lacking clarity.

If you prefer the idea of Aborted's splatter-infused early work then this may not be for you, but if you like your death metal heavy, catchy and uncompromising with a willingness to experiment these albums are well worth a purchase.
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