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When the Scandinavian countries became dominant in the death metal/black metal field, extreme metal generally lost a lot of the cartoonish irony and dark humor that grindcore favorites like Cannibal Corpse, Carcass, and Cancer were known for. Numerous Scandinavian bands that emerged in the mid- to late 1990s and 2000s brought a more serious-minded outlook to extreme metal; they were proud of both their chops and their lyrics (even though so many Nordic death metal and black metal vocalists love to render lyrics indecipherable). Aborted, meanwhile, is a European band that has managed to combine grindcore's irony with the technical prowess of Scandinavian death metal, and that approach continues to work well for them on Strychnine.213. This 2008 release is full of the type of twisted humor that Carcass and Cannibal Corpse were known for in the late '80s and early '90s, but musically, Strychnine.213 is far from a carbon copy of early-'90s grindcore. The playing is decidedly more technical, and tempo changes are frequent -- which is certainly quite a contrast to the late-'80s and early-'90s grindcore bands that played at breakneck speed 100-percent of the time. Think of it this way: Strychnine.213 is the musical equivalent of a goofy B-movie horror/slasher flick, but a goofy B-movie horror/slasher flick that has decent production values and doesn't go out of its way to appear low-budget. This 39-minute CD was not recorded with grindcore purists in mind; anyone who fancies himself/herself a grindcore purist should stick to early-'90s discs such as Cannibal Corpse's Butchered at Birth and Carcass' Symphonies of Sickness. But Strychnine.213 is a worthwhile demonstration of Aborted's ability to combine Scandinavian and non-Scandinavian influences with enjoyably brutal and darkly humorous results.

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