Released: 2013, Agonia Records
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
Italy’s Aborym have always had their own unique take on extreme music, which they themselves describe – quite appropriately - as “hard-industrial-electro extreme metal.” Their avant garde tendencies can be at times border on the insane. Their last album, 2010's conceptual opus Psychogrotesque, for example, was essentially a single epic song broken into 10 tracks – with each track taking the name of its corresponding Roman numeral. That the setting for its storyline is a mental institution speaks volumes.
Their sixth album, Dirty, sees the band returning to more traditional album confines and naming conventions, but that's about where the normality ends. Here, synthesizers bubble up amid a swirl of black metal caterwauling, pulsing techno-fied beats duel with ex-Emperor drummer Bard “Faust” Eithun's galloping percussion, industrial-strength riffs yield to eerie samples, and on “I Don't Know” frontman Fabban punctuates its Cradle of Filthy cacophony with a bit of Elton John-style piano and vocals midway through then concludes it in an almost Faith No More-like alt-metal crescendo.
The initially bulldozing “Factory of Death” offers up a similar sort of treatment, completely changing course midstream and finishing up sounding like something else entirely. And the lilting keyboards on the fadeout of the album’s finale, “The Day The Sun Stopped Shining,” are played over what sounds like someone being tortured - whatever's going on there involves a lot of screaming.
This sort of anything goes Sturm und Drang certainly can confuse the hell out of people, but it's done in such a way, with a definite sense of purpose and cunning, that you'll want to keep listening - at least I did - because you never know what might be coming next. It's a refreshing change from the same old black metal bluster for sure - even though there is plenty of that in the cascading guitars and furious tempos that permeate Dirty.
A second six-track disc is available on the digipack/double LP versions of Dirty, which makes those options worth seeking out, if only for the amazing and utterly unorthodox cover of Iron Maiden's classic “Hallowed Be Thy Name.” Covers of Pink Floyd's “Comfortably Numb” and Nine Inch Nails' “Hurt” are fairly faithful to the originals, but I guarantee you've never heard anything like the treatment of “Hallowed.” It's almost indescribable – and I mean that as a compliment.