Aborym - Psychogrotesque Review
by Matt Hensch
I think it's pretty clear that Aborym's best works are behind them and lately they've been slumping a bit. "Psychogrotesque" continues the band's twisted integration of black metal and industrial influences, but I feel these pioneering masters are beginning to look a little confused at their own design. The album is generally daft, barring a few tracks or sections that at least zap the robotic demon to half of its capability. I guess the industrial overtones bring substance, but the group's instrumental attack renders it useless, almost like the electronic influences aren't pivotal or necessary for Aborym's continuance. Overall it's a fairly schizophrenic listen, and "Psychogrotesque" is merely a shadow of Aborym's accomplishments compared to its previous atrocities.
The whole album feels like it's very mundane despite its abstract nature. Aborym usually twists into heavy riffs or tremolo picking layered in Faust's precise percussion and haunting keyboards, but somehow it all feels very powerless. The vocals are about what you'd expect with some extra perks, including but not limited to shrieks, narration, and clean singing. Then again, Aborym has made a legacy from venturing outside the frozen box, so that's to be expected. Unfortunately, most of Aborym's musical machine runs around the standard accessibility of samples and electronics instead of actually applying the industrial tones to benefit the record; it's really nothing more than a plastic failsafe. They occasionally hit the nail on the head, but those moments are few and far between, and "Psychogrotesque" punches like a gutted teddy bear overall.
It's not that the band is incapable of performing well on an instrumental spectrum; their music is just weak and tired. "III" and "VIII" are the best segments, with both bringing the industrial traits to the forefront of the band's blueprint. Not only are the two cuts enjoyable, but memorable too; something most of "Psychogrotesque" sadly isn't. They sometimes jump way off the cliff and throw in saxophone solos or other avant-garde touches, but once again, the overall effort isn't cured in a significant manner. The interlude tracks are cool for general weirdness and morbidity; however, the infatuation quickly fades into nothingness after a few listens, much like the rest of the album.
It seems to me that "Psychogrotesque" would benefit greatly if the industrial tenor was placed at a higher extreme than the generic black metal assault the Italian group uses for an overwhelming majority of their fifth full-length. The record's best moments are clearly planted in the avant-garde shades and electronic numbers; whereas the industrial bloodline becomes nothing more than a trivial surrounding once Aborym shrouds the listener in a blackened sea of sameness, done before and better by countless others. It would be foolish to disregard Aborym's importance, so definitely check out their earlier works if you aren't familiar with them, but I wouldn't bother with this unless you're a die-hard follower.
Aborym - Psychogrotesque
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