The Rickety Old Shack

Live Show Review: Aborted — May 27th, 2018

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Following my trip to Montreal, Quebec, to catch Satyricon on their final North American tour (report), I also had the opportunity to attend the Devastation On A Nation tour in my home town of Ottawa, Ontario. I initially bought my ticket because Aborted were headlining, and did not even initially realise the line-up was so extensive — running on two stages, beginning at 4:00pm.

Due to some prior committments, I was only able to make it to see the final 3 acts. The whole tour bill looked very interesting, and I have some homework to do with regards to all the acts I didn't get to see. Here are their names and respective official websites:

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I arrived at the show just in time for the beginning of Ingested's set. Based out of the UK, these guys were new to me but within a few minutes I was sold on the prospect of checking out their recorded material. Their set was brutal, violent and very well executed. The venue was cramped and ventillation was effectively nonexistent, but that didn't seem to bother anyone, as Ingested whipped the mosh pit into a ceaseless frenzy throughout their set. The band's current album, The Level Above Human, has been getting very strong reviews and, based on the quality of this performance, I'm feeling obliged to give it a listen and write a review in the near future. I love being surprised by unknown bands, it's one of the many benefits of attending live shows.

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Up next were Tasmanian grinders Psycroptic, a group that, until just now, was one of those "I've heard of them" bands, whose name would come up infrequently and I would always say "I'll have to look into them" to myself, and yet I never remembered to actually do it. Like Ingested before them, Psycroptic wasted little time and unleashed a sonic onslaught of epic proportions, fusing death, grind and groovier elements of thrash music, these Aussies were not fucking around. As much as I quite enjoyed the prior set, Psycroptic seemed to be on another level and their performance was excellent. They did not have a new album out, with their most recent LP — a self-titled affair — having dropped in 2015, but nonetheless they made a fan tonight.

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Finally, it came time for the headliners, yet another band from across the pond — Belgium in this case — the mighty Aborted. I first learned of this band when I was assigned their Goremageddon: The Saw And The Carnage Done album to review, back in 2003. I was quite impressed with the band's work at the time, and have followed them on-and-off ever since. The band's set was a mix of material from across their discography, but everything melded together into a very cohesive set in spite of the band having almost 20 years of material to draw from. Everything sounded crunchy and clear, and the vocals really impressed me with their savagery.

As expected, Aborted delivered the goods: a relentless, violent set with searing riffs and sick grooves. Sven, the group's frontman, was fairly talkative and kept the audience engaged throughout their hour-long set. Stage diving is normally prohibited at every venue I attend, but that didn't stop Sven from encouraging the audience to do it anyway. At one point, some guy with 2-foot spiked hair took a hard fall when no one caught him which I was able to laugh at since the only injury seemed to be to his pride. The mosh pit was rowdy and violent, despite the long show, excessive humidity and ventillation that was only noticeable between band sets.

Despite missing many of the other acts, I was really impressed with this tour package. The performances I saw were all first-rate, Aborted were even better than I expected and I'm excited to dive into the discographies of Ingested, Psycroptic and every other act I missed.

—by Derek

Published: June 2nd, 2018.