Category: Industrial / Metal
Blurb: While the extreme metal elements have been toned down, Aborym maintains a viciously exploratory style that on this album recalls aspects of the ‘90s alternative scene, with some undeniably catchy results.
Since the band’s inception in 1993, Aborym has been a fearless entity in underground music, incorporating harsh electronics into an extreme metal format that is not quite industrial but not quite black metal either. Malfeitor Fabban has led the band across numerous lineup changes, but all the while retaining a singularly experimental style that has ensured that no other band or artist sounds quite like Aborym. With Shifting.Negative, Fabban and his cohorts take a bold exploratory step further with what is some of the band’s most undeniably compelling material – not quite accessible, but still having a quality that can certainly be referred to as catchy.
One thing listeners may notice on Shifting.Negative is the greater emphasis on melodic songwriting, which while not inherently poppy, does allow a more approachable vantage point for the uninitiated. For instance, the album begins with “Unpleasantness,” a descending synth and guitar riff and offbeat rhythms pervading throughout to build tension, culminating in a chorus that one will find very difficult not to sing along with. A song like “Slipping Through the Cracks” may sound like an electrified thrash track, a brutal assault of blastbeats and machinegun riffs with moments of pulsating synths and noisy atmosphere interspersed, but the deviation into a pensive piano and howling ambience topped off by an exhausted but emotive vocal is sure to remind many of The Downward Spiral era Nine Inch Nails. The same can be said of “For a Better Past” as its slow burn of distorted feedback and piano gradually builds to an explosive barrage of fluid slide guitar riffs and thunderous percussion, the verses murky and moody as the chorus seethes with fury and sonic abandon with manic guitar solos, while “Precarious” maintains a languid pace of dreamy monotone vocals and shimmering pianos that will absolutely bring to mind the likes of “A Warm Place” or “I Do Not Want This.” Other songs like “Tragedies for Sale,” “You Can’t Handle the Truth,” and “Decadence in a Nutshell” are still heavy on the electronics but opt for speedier tempos and a more vicious and straightforward rock attack that almost recalls MINISTRY with a bluesy Guns n’ Roses vibe.
The juxtaposition of dark, tightly knit programming and mechanized atmospheres with the bombast of extreme metal is as jarring as ever, but Aborym has never shied away from challenging the listener with harsh shifts in tone. However, Shifting.Negative seems much less enamored with the blackened predilections of the past and seems intent on incorporating more melodic alt. rock elements; as stated, there are moments on this album that are undeniably catchy, resulting in an album that could alienate some longtime fans while introducing a new legion of listeners. In some ways, Shifting.Negative feels like a throwback album, a nostalgic reminiscence of the importance of the ‘90s alternative scene when hard electronics found their way into the rock & roll mainstream. Of course, Aborym is anything but mainstream, and even with this less violently black metal approach, Shifting.Negative is a notable entry in the band’s output.
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Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)