I’m having a chat with Aborted vocalist Sven ‘Svencho’ de Caluwe; I say we’re having a chat but we’re on Skype and it’s more like shouting into the void…

So the new album TerrorVision is released next month – I hear it was written over a period of a year and a half but recorded over two and half weeks? Sven laughs in agreement before adding “We even had too much material so we’ve got some more songs that are not on the album that will be released later on – we’ll see when that happens!” He reckons there’s a good twenty minutes of music that didn’t make it onto TerrorVision so I reckon you can expect a nice little EP from Aborted at some point in the not-too-distant future.

So the drums and vocals were recorded in Germany at producer Kristian ‘Kohle’ Kohlmannslehner’s studio, while the guitar and bass were done in Netherlands at guitarist Mendel bij de Leig’s studio. I have to ask if this arrangement works well for the band. Sven’s laughing again as he says “Yeah, man; nobody wants to hang around guitarists so it’s great!” before launching into an explanation about how it really was good for the band. “For us, it was the most convenient way, with Retrogore (2016) we loved working at the Kohlekeller (Kohle’s studio), and recording there, but the rooms we stayed at were rather small so we spent a month there last time, with the five of us, which was a little heavy because you’re five people in a small space doing a very intense and stressful job for about a month…it’s kind of heavy…” So violent fighting aside, the band decided that with the Bathos EP (2017) they’d give the home recording a crack and see how it came out after Kohle mixed it. According to Sven (and indeed, most Aborted fans) “It sounded great so we decided to split the band in two and have drums and vocals done at the Kohlekeller,” with Mendel and Ian Jekelis working their guitar magic over in the Netherlands. Sven reckons it was a much more efficient process so this was the reason for repeating the set-up with TerrorVision. “We could really focus on the performance, and we were also lucky enough to have Kohle there – he, as producer, was involved from the start and gave his opinion on structures and riffs, or samples, and all that stuff so we had way more time in the studio thanks to this split up to work out the song structures, and give some additional attention to guitars or vocal parts, or samples and that kind of stuff. We had a lot more room to do things in less time, while tracking guitars is tracking guitars; it’s gotta be done but it’s not the most creative part of the process so as long as it sounds good and Kohle re-amped it, we saved a lot of time and budget, and we could do a lot more creative things during the recordings that way.”

Was it my imagination, or are there a lot less samples in TerrorVision? I seem to recall that Global Flatline (2012) had shit-loads…Mr Svencho reckons that “There are a lot of samples but there’s not a lot of movie samples. There are a lot of soundscapes and shit happening, and there are a lot of details in the background that you’ll need a couple of listens to so you can get them all, but the reason that there are less samples – less movie samples – is simply that we were told if we put any movie samples in then it wouldn’t be released. We got told there should be no movie samples due to copyright and that kind of stuff…”

Bastards. He’s in agreement. Anyway, on to the matter of the tunes; I mention the spooky intro of Lasciate Ogne Speranza and then the massive boom that is TerrorVision – it’s a lovely way to start the album. “Yeah – it’s a good way to wake up, yes? It’s kind of like coffee only it doesn’t make you shit…” And those massive keys on The Final Absolution, they’re almost progressive in structure – ever feel like a change in direction? “No, not really – I think Aborted will always be Aborted in a way that, for us, its core values are intensity and brutality in the song writing so those things will always be there. It always has to be high energy but sure, for example with TerrorVision, we definitely got way more into what I like to call the ‘Aborted dark universe’, which is where we added all of these dark…melodies is not the right word…but I’m sure you know what I mean?” These dark atmospheric parts that to me further accentuate the heavy and brutal parts.” Getting all art wanky, I mention how these ‘dark atmospherics’ almost gives the songs room to breathe and move. “Yeah – and then we just punch you in the teeth again, so it’s cool!”

And the eighties horror movie as metaphor for current world events’ notion behind the album? I ask him to expand; how does Sven see the current situation? Apart from fucked up? He laughs: “Well, fucked up is a good way to put it! I’d say that it’s a very weird time that we live in because on the one hand, we should be the happiest we’ve ever been because in one way life has never been easier, there’s a lot more understanding in a way, everything is readily available – even if we just look at music; you want to find some new music? All you have to do is turn on your phone or computer and there it is. Whereas before you had to make the effort. Everything is effortless and at the same time, that’s also what’s wrong with the world because I guess we don’t really know how to deal with it because at the same time we’re living in a period where there’s never been more depression, anxiety, stress, and burnouts so it’s fucked up because we live in that sort of privileged situation where we don’t really have real problems half the time so we make them. I don’t know…from a psychological point of view, it’s interesting to see…but at the same time I feel people have this constant need to be connected or being on their phones, being the centre of attention constantly – which is not a way of life. It’s fucked up! You put pressure on yourself constantly, everything you do is constantly being judged online. When I grew up I was a retard sitting on a fucking bench, slowly growing into myself but now kids can’t do anything, or they’re being judged for it, or there are traces of it online. Parents too! You can’t be drunk at a fucking party because the kids will find it! It’s a very weird ‘1984’ kind of situation that we’ve made for ourselves while at the same time the government and media is, very maliciously or not, they have an agenda, and they’re pushing it and people are eating it up like candy. It’s worrying to see that people make up their political agendas and opinion – or even their opinions on social matters – based on bullshit that they read on Facebook. To me, that’s mind-boggling.” Damn straight, matey. I think my assessment of ‘fucked up’ is quite accurate…

I mention that Sven and I are ‘older gentlemen’ (ahem) – and we both did some fucked up shit in the eighties and nineties but, occasional Polaroid aside, there’s no real record of our heinous behaviour. It’s quite a relief. Again, he’s laughing. “Yeah! Nothing ever happened when we were growing up because there’s no evidence!” While we’re on the subject of heinous behaviour, Aborted will be touring Australia next month, along with The Black Dahlia Murder and Zeolite; how long has it been since you were in Australia last? “I think that was 2014 with the release of The Necrotic Manifesto and we did a co-headline tour with our friends from Psycroptic; it was good fun, a lot of cool shows, and we met a lot of really cool people so we’re very excited to come back to Australia.” I mention that the tour continues in Europe till the end of November, and Sven leaves me with the juicy titbit that “Well, actually it’s up until December because I guess by the time this gets published, we will have announced that we’ll be continuing the European tour in the UK. The bill will be slightly different and will be Aborted, Cryptopsy, Ingested, and Unfathomable Ruination, and we’re doing about seven additional dates in the UK with that.”

Oof – that’s juicy, for sure…

Black Dahlia Murder/Aborted/Zeolite Nightbringers Tourdates:

Sept 21st – Perth, The Hell Hole (Local Support: Xenobiotic)

Sept 22nd – Adelaide, Fowler’s (The New Dead Metalfest)

Sept 23rd – Melbourne, Max Watt’s (Blackhelm)

Sept 24th – Hobart, Brisbane Hotel (Scoparia)

Sept 25th – Newcastle, The Cambridge (Blade of Horus)

Sept 26th – Canberra, The Basement (Wretch)

Sept 27th – Sydney, The Factory (Anno Domini)

Sept 28th – Brisbane, Crowbar (Disentomb)