Aborym have been consistently delivering the goods for a surprisingly long time now, haven’t they? It only really struck me when coming to write this review, that it was 2001 when I first had my introduction to the band with their 2nd album ‘Fire Walk With Us’, and even then they’d been around in one form or another since 1992. Needless to say, I instantly found ‘Fire Walk With Us’ to be manna from heaven, and the band quickly found a place close to my heart alongside the likes of Red Harvest, Blut Aus Nord and the amazing Mysticum as sonic extremists who effortlessly infused industrial soundscapes, crazed rhythms and twisted melodies galore.
Fast forward to 2013, and we still see Aborym living up to their history, but persistently looking to the future for concepts for their art. ‘Dirty’ is a double album, the first part of which is what I will be concentrating on here (the second disc features a couple of re-recorded classics, as well as some surprising covers from the likes of Pink Floyd, NIN and Iron Maiden – with Maiden’s ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’ getting the full Aborym treatment, keeping surprisingly close to the original, albeit with huge swathes of keyboards covering the majority of the guitar melodies and scathing vocals which will naturally make the purists poo in their pantaloons – it’s on the bands facebook page for those whose interest is piqued!).
However, it’s the new material that shows Aborym as we know them best; bathed in a crusty dystopian industrial landscape made up of all that is wrong with the modern world. The sparse cover artwork featuring nothing more than an inverted grimy inner city on a piss-yellow background gives nothing away as to what bubbles under the surface of the album. If you ever heard ‘Urfe’ by The Axis of Perdition, and yearned for it to actually have had more ‘music’ as opposed to pretty much being a spoken word piece of atmospheric horror fiction, Aborym are here to make your bad dreams come true. Buzzing static, electrical hum and white noise one moment, and screams, panicked riffage and maniacal blast beats the next (still provided by Bard ‘Faust’ Eithun, rather than a drum machine to give that human touch), the album’s title track ‘Dirty’ captures the spirit of old Aborym with huge amounts of electronic beats engaging and melding with the sickened guitars as they spark and stutter out slivers of riffs like Cyberdine’s Skynet happily spitting forth nukes to wipe out humanity.
The boys wander into fresh exciting soundscapes which their last album ‘Psychogrotesque’ often showcased – with ‘Helter Skelter Youth’ showing a slower, mind-fucking, groove encrusted technological enhancement which fits effortlessly into the band’s sound. But the main body of the album is still made up of manic beats and jarring guitar work which is summed up in the album opener ‘Irreversible Crisis’, and even when the vocals surprisingly sound almost falsetto Maryiln Manson-like towards the end of the track, everything you hear is still undeniably Aborym in essence; mechanical, unforgivingly sterile yet strangely re-assuring. Album closer ‘The Day The Sun Stopped Shining’ features a fast paced tremolo picked riff which has impressive atmosphere thanks to the synth arrangements which back it, flickering electronics and an almost theremin like keyboard melody offsetting the closing moments of soft, downbeat piano work which sees the album out.
As a whole, the album is entrenched in moral rot, corruption and most importantly degradation – you don’t have a track called ‘Raped by Daddy’ and not feel enveloped by these things. But it’s these things that serve as the power source on which Aborym thrives, the acrid battery which provides the life blood on which their steely skies and grey industrialist landscapes blossom. I don’t feel depressed after listening to this album, I feel strangely uplifted and invigorated by it – but I’m sure each individual will take something different from ‘Dirty’, there’s a lot of scope for it in the material to say the least. One thing which does seem abundantly clear is that Aborym continue to unsettle and challenge – and long may they continue to do so!
(9/10 Lars Christiansen)