Fire Walk With Us
Mercenary Musik / World War III Records, 2001
REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 06/27/2002
Ahh... so this is what Ministry might sound like if Al Jourgenson decided to practice the Black Arts.
Fire Walk With Us, the second release from Italian industrial/death metallers Aborym, is not your typical music for this genre. Sure, you have the musicians who look like they were just made up for a match hosted by the WWE, supposedly singing praises to Satan and all that is unholy - I guess that's the case, since I couldn't make out a single word Attila Csihar screamed throughout this disc. But the overall feel goes for a more technical bend than all-out mayhem, including what seem to be synthesized drums. Honestly, I can't imagine any human alive being able to keep up the frantic beats which are heard throughout this disc for this long.
Yet Fire Walk With Us often sounds like unfinished business; there are times when one really wishes they'd hear the band totally cut loose, only to have layered keyboards continue to fill what might otherwise be dead air. Add to the mix a formula which grows stale pretty quick, and you have an album which is meant for only the diehard fans of this genre.
Even there, it's hard to exactly pinpoint who this disc is targeted at, since Aborym is definitely carving out their own unique niche here. While there are the necessary requirements to qualify this as classic speed/death metal, the heavy reliance on synthesizers gives this music a whole different feel. Even from the first track, "Our Sentence," the listener knows that this is not your typical death metal.
If only Aborym were able to parlay this into something more interesting. It takes Aborym time to build up to the meat of "Love The Death As The Life" - and while I think I can understand why the band took a minute to create a sonic sculpture leading to the actual song, in the end it becomes a minute wasted. In a similar vein, "Here Is No God S.T.A." tries to be more like Ministry than anyone else, but without a definite rhythm section (at least in the beginning of the song), it almost sounds like you're listening to a demo version of this track. I kept waiting for the final version to leap out at me, but it never did.
Even an idea that works - like the slow buildup and retreat of "Theta Paranoia" - makes one wonder if Aborym wouldn't have been better served actually trying to write a full song rather than creating mood pieces, no matter how demonic they might have seemed.
And while Fire Walk With Us is ambitious in its undertakings, Aborym still hasn't quite figured out how to keep their sound fresh through the course of a whole album, meaning by the time the listener gets to tracks like "Det Som En Gang Var," they'll be yawning with familiarity. Not a good sign for a group who are supposed to be trailblazers in this subset of metal.
Still, I have to admire certain qualities of Aborym - even if getting excited about Csihar's vocal displays and control may seem miniscule to some. There is undoubtedly a place for a band like this in an already over-crowded field, and there are occasional glimmers of promise on Fire Walk With Us. If only the flames burned as bright on this disc as the promises.
2002 Christopher Thelen and "The Daily Vault". All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Mercenary Musik / World War III Records, and is used for reference purposes only.