Aborym - Psychogrotesque
Season Of Mist
Industrial / Post-Black Metal
7 songs (54:03)
Release year: 2010
Aborym, Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Goat

It’s taken Italian Industrial-Black stallions Aborym a while to come up with a follow-up to 2006’s well-received Generator, perhaps due to the loss of vocalist Prime Evil (Mysticum) and guitarist Nysrok Infernalien Sathanas (Sweden’s Bloodline). Here, Malfeitor Fabban has moved to vocals and new man Hell:I0:Kabbalus (Kalki Avatara, Malfeitor) performs guitars and keyboards, plus there are various guest appearances including Ephel Duath mainman Davide Tiso, signalling a shift away from the band’s previous sound towards a more experimental realm. I must admit, my expectations rose for this album when I saw that it was a ‘one-long-song’ concept album broken up into numbered tracks, as Aborym’s sound would seem perfectly suited to this kind of venture, exactly the sort of thing that Abigor did so well with Time Is The Sulphur In The Veins Of The Saint. My expectations then fell when that silly piece of cover art came out. Have they succeeded in their leap of faith, or have Aborym now slipped into the ranks of the disappointing, the let-downs, the mighty reduced to nothing?

Well, even the most wary of listeners would have to admit that it’s not nothing, that’s for sure. A brief bit of Industrial ambience opens the album, buzzing flies and distant moans reverberating around as Psychogrotesque I starts the ball rolling. The following track is where things really kick off, a brief drum roll heralding the second part as Dødheimsgard-esque mechanical riffage and drum battering launch themselves into the air like cluster bombs. It’s surprisingly akin to the Norwegian experimentalists, even copying some of the sound effects from Supervillain Outcast, before heading back towards Aborym’s typically grandiose and almost symphonic territory, building up to an epic finale that spirals off into breakbeats and Industrial Death Metal in part III. Complex, devastatingly heavy stuff even if you appreciate the style in general, and proof of the band’s skill as they wind progressive strains of melody around the central hybrid Industrial/Black grafting. Strangely, then, we get IV in the form of a spoken-word piece in Italian backed by techno synths and sparse beats, an odd choice for a four-minute-plus track and one that is sure to get skipped on repeated listens as an annoying break in the action. It’s the one mistake the band made here, if I had to point to any.

The action far, far outweighs the interludes, however, as the following V proves with its saxophone squalls and clean vocals over an intense electronic backdrop. It soon turns harsh, crashing Doom riffs and repeated snarls of ‘final apocalypse!’ doing their best to freak the listener out, before VI increases the warp factor with blastbeats and lightspeed streaks of electronics, switching back to atmospheric swoops of synth and (very sparingly used) saxophone, then ending with operatic trill. Aborym were clearly out to experiment as much as possible, as Psychogrotesque seems designed to be as complex and intense an album as possible – I’d describe it as Avant-Garde if the chaos didn’t seem so deliberate, so controlled, similar yet different to Abigor’s unhinged philosophical gibberings. Still, in comparison Generator seems a good deal easier to handle, which may throw fans looking for more of the same – Aborym have most definitely upped their game. The techno indulgences of VIII feel far more natural and well-thought out than similar tracks have in the past, and interlude IX is very effective at setting you up for the nine-minute-plus final track.

And it’s this final masterpiece that really convinced me of Aborym’s genius here after an uninspiring first listen made me question the band’s decisions, really made me go back and reconsider the tracks before as the dark web is woven before your eyes. It’s gloriously nutty, the deranged vocal groans and shrieks of Fabban erasing all memory of Attila Csihar from your mind as epic mountains of sound form, mark their territory, and collapse into ambience, the track running on in silence with a hidden piece for the patient. Hard to sum up, really. Once I’d heard it in full, I did enjoy the album on balance, yet the general similarities to works by Dødheimsgard and Abigor makes me hesitate before declaring it vital. Fans of the band and of Industrial Metal in general will love it; this is Aborym striking out once and for all from under the shadow of their former vocalist, heading towards a deeper, darker, more off-kilter and, simply put, insane direction. They truly deserve to be mentioned alongside their peers in the ever-decreasing Industrial Black genre, one of a handful of bands that play their own individual take on the style, and play it well. So, to finally answer my question asked in the initial paragraph, yes, Aborym have more than succeeded and have gone up a lot in my estimation for taking the risk and making it work for them.

Killing Songs :
Great album as a whole, but parts II, III, VI, VIII and X are all terrific
Goat quoted 87 / 100
Other albums by Aborym that we have reviewed:
Aborym - Dirty reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Aborym - Generator reviewed by Adam and quoted 94 / 100
Aborym - Fire Walk With Us reviewed by Danny and quoted 20 / 100
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