AlbumsMarch 13, 20243,877 views

Aborted Vault of Horrors


Vault of Horrors
1. Dreadbringer (feat. Shadow Of Intent) 2. Condemned To Rot (feat. Francesco Paoli) 3. Brotherhood Of Sleep (feat. Johnny Ciardullo) 4. Death Cult (feat. Despised Icon) 5. Hellbound (feat. Matt McGachy) 6. Insect Politics (feat. Jason Evans) 7. The Golgothan (feat. Hal Microutsicos) 8. The Shape Of Hate (feat. Oliver Rae Aleron) 9. Naturom Demonto (feat. David Simonich III) 10. Malevolent Haze (feat. Ricky Hoover)
2024 Nuclear Blast Records
Our score 8

by Jake
3/13/2024

It’s time for a new Aborted album and that’s always cause for celebration. Vault of Horrors arrives almost exactly 25 years after their debut (and close to 30 years since their formation) and showcases that some acts can stay relevant by staying curious and that is exactly what Aborted have done over their career. While the band has had its share of lineup changes during the last three decades, the guiding voice of  Sven de Caluwé has been the one constant and on Vault of Horrors he gets to duet with a host of featured vocalists on this record, just look at that tracklist. Some of the current greats in deathcore and death metal make appearances and that mix is a perfect way to describe where Aborted currently sit, at least in terms of style.

Let’s get one thing out of the way first: there is a vocal feature on every single track and this is something that I have historically had issues with. What I think makes this situation a little different is in the execution and the fact that these songs will more than likely feel very similar in a live setting with just Sven on the mic. Having these guests on the album doesn’t really change what the band is doing either, but there are certain songs that are punctuated by the talents brought by these vocal features. “The Shape of Hate” - which features Oli from Archspire - embraces his mastery of the rapid fire delivery and Francesco Paoli of Fleshgod Apocalypse gets to apply his signature bark to “Condemned to Rot” in a way that adds a bit more impact to an already haymaker of a song. 

While I can see the fun and benefit of having these guests jump, I’m not sure that takes the album orders of magnitude higher than it’d be without them. So in the end, it's a two-edged approach because these songs will absolutely not suffer live without their studio lineup on stage.

Vault of Horrors so of implies that this album is taking an anthology approach rather than a larger narrative arc guiding the whole thing. This also fits with the aforementioned gallery of guest vocalists but also lets this record lean into these songs without bothering to find cohesive moments or repeating motifs. From the very start this album begins throat stomping and it frankly never lets up, it just changes the angles and frequency. That being said there are some genuine standout moments that had me shaking my head in disbelief while simultaneously banging it.

“Brotherhood of Sleep” which features Angel Maker guitarist and Carcosa vocalist Johnny Ciardullo just ramps the intensity to a level that I’m not quite sure Aborted has reached in the past. Just pure ignorant blast beats and neck snapping riffs. The kind of shit that you turn on an Aborted record for in the first place. Matt McGachy of Cryptopsy lends his pipes to “Hellbound” which shows a whole different shade of Aborted with some fancy soloing courtesy of Máni, Aborted’s most recent lineup acquisition.

These songs are on the A-side and are frankly some of the best that the album has to offer but there aren’t any weak moments on the B-side either. “Malevolent Haze” and “Insect Politics” are also a couple of knockouts that punctuate the latter half of Vault of Horrors.  Dave Otero worked with Aborted on this album from the early stages right on through to production and this album sounds absolutely massive. With all of the highly active drumming and riffing and soloing and screaming from a band like Aborted, there has to be a production to match and maximize the band’s output and boy howdy does this album deliver on that front. It’s one of the best sounding albums of the year. 

The whole thing clocks in at 40 minutes which is pretty much in the sweet spot for music like this, as it allows the listener to be fully invested in the tunes and mood of the album without lingering around too long after the initial impact has worn off.

Bottom Line: Aborted continue their trek of embracing the past of the genre and looking forward and recruiting new blood - both in band members and guest spots - to keep things sounding fresh. While the laundry list of featured vocalists may be to some a distraction, the songs all speak for themselves and the production is deftly tuned to maximize the threat that each of these tracks bring. Aborted have been a consistent act for decades and Vault of Horrors proves that they have no intention of resting on their laurels. 
 


15 comments

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anonymous 72 days ago

My dick grew 69 inches after reading this review. Also, my skin is now perfectly moisturized, my crops are watered, and all my enemies are slain. 10/10 review, would read again.

anonymous 72 days ago

Bottom Line: This is a better review than anything that fat retard Eliot has ever done!

anonymous 72 days ago

"there is a vocal feature on every single track and this is something that I have historically had issues with. " You're so gay

anonymous 72 days ago

"It's one of the best sounding albums of the year." Though it isn't as good as Zulu's masterpiece...which received a 9.

anonymous 72 days ago

Too clean, too deathcore...

anonymous 72 days ago

These reviews are so poorly written it's pure comedic gold

anonymous 72 days ago

Is this Jake, from State Farm?

anonymous 72 days ago

They just finished blasting that entire wall with Diarrhea as a team building exercise

anonymous 72 days ago

Deathcore vocalists don't use mic in videos and hold up the Raiden hands constantly

anonymous 71 days ago

Doesn't sound like the same band that recorded Goremageddon anymore.

lake_flaccid 70 days ago

^ their earlier stuff is best, this one aint bad though

anonymous 69 days ago

anonymous 1 day ago Doesn't sound like the same band that recorded Goremageddon anymore. permalink | report abuse lake_flaccid 11 hours ago ^ their earlier stuff is best, this one aint bad though permalink | report abuse The vocals are sick

anonymous 69 days ago

I agree, Sven is still a monster on vocals. He sounds like that live as well.

anonymous 66 days ago

why the f*ck did they decide that their getup would be the same flannel

anonymous 62 days ago

Lambgoat really put out posts when they were initially "Bought", looking for writers. They tried to be as detailed as possible in their description of what they wanted and still got clunky and poorly articulated reviews like this. lol