Interview: Aborted’s Sven de Caluwé on Band’s 11th, Full-Length LP, ‘ManiaCult’

Aborted’s 11th full-length, ManiaCult, due out September 10 via Century Media, continues to build upon the dynamism that has defined the death/grind outfit for over two decades. The record is a study in varied extremism, a propulsive affair kept multidimensional by vocalist and founder Sven de Caluwé’s unique singing techniques. Aborted has always stood out from its peers because of their singer’s technical approach, layering different frequencies that create new space and vibrancy. And even though it may come off as a precise and measured effect, Caluwe’s approach is really just seamless.  

“Well, I always just tried to sound like myself since the beginning,” he explains. “When we started out it was back in the ’90s and a lot of death metal had vocals that were just one type of vocal. Sometimes bands would just do those and that’s it, there would be nothing else, and Deicide and bands like Carcass would do it differently. So for me, I really wanted to be able to do different things within the genre and not limit it to just like, ‘let’s make shit sound as low and brutal as possible.’” 

ManiaCult borrows from Aborted’s extended catalog, equal parts inner-grind, old school freak out, and extended grandness. The record bursts and swirls to create something of a center void, a place one thinks they can hang on to throughout the storm, but the problem is: the ferocity is blinding, and the band succeeds– as always– at transcendence through diffusion. The group’s previous record, Terrorvision, came out in 2018, and the band used it as a starting point for the new one.  

“With Terrorvision we were very happy with the record,” de Caluwé notes. “But it got a little one dimensional at some point, not that that was a bad thing, but we felt like it would be beneficial if we did a new record that was a lot more dynamic, mix stuff in that complements elements of the band’s live aspect. So that’s why we tried to have more of the groove parts in there, there are a lot more darker elements in there that we expanded on from Terrorvision, and there’s a lot of stuff in there that we haven’t done in a long time that we kind of brought back in to the band: there’s this kind of grind-ness from Necrotic Manifesto or older, some of the Carcass vibes are back, and then there’s all the newer stuff we’re doing in there too. So, I hope people see it as a varied record.” 

For an extreme metal record that keeps the extremity as the focus, it’s as varied as they come. The brutality of the sound and imagery that Aborted wields has always been upfront and center, it’s a style that is maxed out continually. With ManiaCult, the balance is more refined, there’s breath within the structure, and the group capitalizes on this, offering a labyrinth of which to travel, where the brutal moments become almost symbolic with regards to the greater picture.  

“If you’re writing extreme and brutal music, you can’t really start singing songs about ‘Free Britney,’” de Caluwé laughs. “You kind of have to have something that works in there. Now the challenge has always been, and what we’ve always tried to do throughout the years, is that we write about horribly disgusting things, but we also write about the why and how, and a lot of the times it’s really about things we see in real life, and we’re just dressing it up within our universe.” 

ManiaCult can be completely escapist, but there are enough clues in there to grasp hold of some truly vital ideas.  

“There’s always some message for the people who want to discover it,” de Caluwé says.  

“And there’s always also the songs about shit,” he laughs. “So, there’s a little bit for everybody.”  

Watch the video for “Impetus Odi” here:

For more from Aborted, check out their official website.

Photo courtesy of Aborted.

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