Fire Walk With Us

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Very rarely does one come a cross a record as difficult to describe as Aborym's Fire Walk With Us. Just where exactly these Italian maniacs draw their inspiration is anyone's guess, but at the core of their madness, their songs quote the Scandinavian black metal of bands like Emperor and Mayhem. Not a huge surprise when one discovers that their only non-Italian member is none other than legendary Hungarian vocalist Attila Csihar, who performed on Mayhem's genre-defining De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas album ten years earlier. Of course when compared to that crucial but ultraprimitive album, Fire Walk With Us has a lot more going on in the finesse department. Almost too much at times, as any attempt at categorization here would be an exercise in futility. Songs like "Our Sentence," "White Space," and "Sol Sigillum" eschew old-school black metal's traditional, analog aesthetic to fully embrace the digital tools at Aborym's disposal. In so doing, they construct an industrial wall of sound of KMFDM proportions, waging sonic war with their satanic screeches and computer-altered vocals. Add to this the occasional classical music accents, orchestrated synthesizers, and just plain avant-garde noise, and you have a sonic soup of mind-boggling proportions. Which brings along the inevitable question: is it any good? Well, it really comes down to how the listener positions himself along the digital divide. Those who prefer their metal stripped down and straightforward will likely find Aborym too industrial and chaotic. Yet for fans of truly unique new directions in metal, Fire Walk With Us is a full-course meal. Also included is a cover version of Burzum's "Det Som En Gang Var," which, believe it or not, might be even more twisted than the original.

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