Aborted: Vault of Horrors Album review

By: Ashley Parrish Otteman 

Alright, let's dive into Aborted's latest face-melter, "Vault of Horrors." Released by Nuclear Blast Records on March 15, 2024, the album showcases Aborted's talent for blending intricate musicianship with pure, unadulterated power. Produced by Dave Otero, a highly regarded producer known for his significant contributions to the extreme metal genre, they've created a collection of songs that stay true to the band's consistent delivery of top-notch music—this record is no exception. Clearly, they haven't missed a beat, continuing to impress with skillful execution and heavy-hitting tunes.

The lineup, featuring Sven de Caluwé's demonic vocals, Ian Jekelis and Daníel Máni Konráðsson on guitars, Ken Bedene on drums, and Stefano Franceschini on bass, delivers a solid performance across the board. Adding a unique twist, the album includes guest vocalists from some of the top names in modern technical death metal and deathcore.

Each song serves as a nod to a different horror cult classic, creating a blend of haunting and aggressive melodies. In my opinion, "Vault of Horrors" is an absolute banger, showcasing Aborted’s remarkable ability to merge technical precision with a raw, human element that breathes life into the music. Here are some highlights: 

The opening track, "Dreadbringer," features Ben Duerr (Shadow of Intent) and sets the tone for the rest of the album. This track is a beast, it blends atmospheric elements with relentless blast beats and guttural vocals. Overall, an excellent track, standing out as a favorite after several listens.

"Brotherhood of Sleep," with Johnny Ciardullo (Angelmaker, Carcosa) highlights the album's integration of technical precision with deathcore's raw impact. Johnny's vocals complement Sven's monstrous sound.

"Death Cult" and "Hellbound" diversify the album further, incorporating elements of hardcore and even slam. Alex Erian's (Despised Icon) gritty vocals on "Death Cult" contrast nicely with the technical instrumentation, while Matt McGachy's (Cryptopsy) work on "Hellbound" adds layered, blackened melodies without sacrificing brutality.

"The Shape of Hate," featuring Oliver Rae Aleron (Archspire), and "The Golgothan," with Hal Microutsicos (Blasphemous) showcase intricate leads, complex vocal patterns, and darker, more dissonant elements that enrich the album's dense sound.

In my opinion, “Vault of Horrors" stands out as a genuinely enjoyable album. Each track based on a different horror flick, complemented by the presence of guest vocalists, adds a unique twist that keeps things interesting throughout. Despite the inevitable critics who might balk at the abundance of guest appearances, the diversity of the extreme voices alongside Sven’s deep growls introduces an intriguing contrast that enriches the album’s sound. Production-wise, the album shines with its well-crafted mix, where the instrumental layers and the overall sound mesh together in a way that's both intense and meticulously arranged. This creates a listening experience that's not only brutal but also skillfully executed. It’s an album that demonstrates creativity and technical ability, making it another solid contribution from Aborted. 


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