Good industrial black metal has sort of become the proverbial “diamond in the rough” as the struggling genre has diminished over the years. Don’t get me wrong; the notion of blending such styles seems like an effortless marriage, but over the years the bands have tested that theory.
But in spite of the genre’s horrid track record, Aborym hath dared to release their sixth full-length, double feature album Dirty. The band first hit the scene back in 1993, but really began to make a name for itself in 1999 with the release of their second full-length album Fire Walk With Us! Over the years, the band has gone through fluxes of members among many other major changes of pace. But perhaps the biggest change was the release of With No Human Invention, on which Aborym really got serious with incorporating elements of EBM and Industrial into their black metal foundation.
Now before I rave about the creativity and inventiveness of Dirty, let me first declare my strongest reservation: It’s confusing! I hold no issues with the fact that Aborym is versatile; they would have to be to declare themselves as “alien-black-hard/industrial”. Upon finishing Dirty, however, I felt as though I had just listened to a mix tape. It lacks cohesiveness.
Dirty begins with the first track titled “Irreversible Crisis”, which were my exact sentiments about the song. The first few tracks felt like a jumbled mess of breakdowns with oddly-placed synth bridges. With that being said, my feelings changed entirely as I got deeper into the track list. It took the third track, “Bleedthrough”, for me to really change my mind. Surely my favorite song on the entire double-length feature, the song represents the rare and beautiful synthesis of black metal and hard industrial. From track three forward, Dirty maintains its energy. The next few songs definitely favor Aborym’s more classical black metal side; and although they were well done, they defied the impression of the album I had initially.
The second installment of the album, Dirty II, may come as a shock as it features three covers of songs. The first of which is Pink Floyd’s classic “Comfortably Numb”, which I would normally deem impossible to replicate. The Pink Floyd fan within me would normally turn its nose up at any imposter, but I’ve really got to give it to Aborym. The song somehow kept its mellowness as the band mixed the proper amount of their own style to the mix. I was shocked. So yes, I let “Comfortably Numb” slide. As for the other covers, which by the way are “Hallowed Be Thy Name” by Iron Maiden and “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails, I couldn’t have been more bored. Everyone knows covers of those songs are on the unofficial no-no list.
Dirty is altogether a solid work of art. Parts of me, specifically my ears, wondered what Aborym was really going for here (as far as genre is concerned) but, frankly, who cares? Barring a few songs, I would say that Dirty really rocked. I will tip my hat to Aborym for this one so long as they never try to cover another Iron Maiden song.