Sven de Caluwé Shares the Cinematic Classics At the Core of 'Vault of Horrors'

Sven de Caluwé Shares the Cinematic Classics At the Core of 'Vault of Horrors'

- By Ramon Gonzales

The Aborted architect shares his shortlist of vital cinema and the films that have made a lasting impact, resulting in a full album that pays homage to the genre.

Photo by Laura Lateralus

Belgian death metal practitioners Aborted, recently debuted their landmark twelfth studio album, Vault of Horrors via Nuclear Blast Records. Asserting the band's technically-driven brand of precise brutality, the ten track collection underscored the continued dominance of a band some three decades into their tenure, still producing at their performative peak. 

In addition to the musical drubbing assembled in the collection of songs, the thematic ambition of the record is one that speaks to the band's immersion in heavy culture. On Vault of Horrors, frontman and Aborted architect Sven de Caluwé, offers musical tribute to the dark, demented cinema that has left an indelible creative influence - one that has become an integral component of the DNA of the band. 



In fact, Vault of Horrors functions as a cohesive homage to the artistic merit of the horror genre as a whole. From "Death Cult" which features Alex Erian from Despised Icon paying tribute to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, to the John Carpenter worship of The Thing in "Dreadbringer" featuring Ben Duerr of Shadow of Intent - the album offers a brilliant intersection of music and cinema in a way that shines a new light on the genre and offers credence to the enduring quality of the flicks for more than just splatter and spectacle. 

This ambitious undertaking merits the question - just what films are considered favorites in the lexicon of timeless horror. Luckily, Sven de Caluwé was gracious enough to detail his shortlist of essential horror flicks - many of which might seem like obvious choices, but for many reasons outside of the typical gore, guts and requisite gruesomeness that anchors most lists.

Emphasizing narrative, artistic vision and overall execution, even including score and cinematography, de Caluwé illuminates just what makes a horror film something memorable and ultimately compelled him to assemble the likes of Matt McGachy of Cryptopsy, Ricky Hoover of OV SULFUR, David Simonich of Signs of the Swarm and more to present a living tribute to genre. 

Here's the shortlist for Sven. 

THE MIST (2007)


de CaluwéWithout a doubt the hardest ending of any movie ever made. Leaving the rather mediocre CGI effects aside, this is definitely one of the better King movies. The main thing here is not the monsters, but the paranoia and how we as a species are so quick to turn on each other when things go south, or turn to ridiculous ideas such as religion as if there’s going to be a magical solution to our self made problems. At the same time it also shows how people can get together as well, so it’s a very well thought out example of the different types of people in today’s society. The ending however, absolutely brutal. Highly recommended.



de Caluwé - First of all, Freddy is probably my favourite horror icon of all time. Not only because he can be extremely scary when he wants to be, but he also has the right sense of humor for this kind of stuff - Masterfully played by Robert Englund.

The series do get stale after part 4 but 1-3 would definitely be some of my all time favourites. While the series still had some teen characters you don’t want to die from the get go (unlike some of the more recent horror films, Netflix 'Texas Chainsaw' and 'Hellraiser', I’m looking at you) The thought you can’t go to sleep or you might die, is absolutely terrifying. I’d be dead in a day.

THE FLY (1986)


de Caluwé - The absolute BEST body horror film ever made, truly showing the brilliance of someone like David Cronenberg. Not to mention the best performance to this day by Jeff Goldblum. How they reimagined this silly old film was sheer brilliance and the effects still hold up till this day. It’s a romance gone wrong in its essence, but everything hits home here. The character development is phenomenal, the atmosphere, cinematography. Anyone who hasn’t seen this film, do so NOW.

THE THING (1982)


de Caluwé - This one is a tie with Alien as they both have a similar theme. Be it in space or Antarctica, paranoia and being hunted by something unknown are the main thing here. Absolute chilling score and story by John Carpenter, who is responsible for many of my favourite movies. Carpenter has always had a very bleak, dark and unique version on film making. Often underrated back then but he created some of the best horror / action movies I’ve ever seen. If alien terror is your thing, its a must see.

UPGRADE (2018)


de Caluwé - A more recent film, but also quite underrated in my opinion. It deals with some current societal issues such as the dangers of AI and technology in general. The acting, cinematography and score are absolutely amazing. If you want to see a great horror/action film that deals with some more current issues, definitely don’t let this pass you buy, its an underrated masterpiece.

IT (2017)


de Caluwé - As a child I’ve always loved the King IT book, however the mini series that were made for TV way back then definitely didn’t hold up to the book or the terror IT had over the losers club. So much was toned down, how the losers all became best friends was mainly left out sadly, even if the acting was still great to be honest. In comes the remake of IT and I honestly didn’t have high hopes, replacing Tim Curry was not going to be an easy feat, but Skarsgard def pulled it off.

He had me sold from the first scene with Georgie and the entire movie was the awesome ride I was always hoping for. Both parts were excellent and well acted by both the adults and children. The score of the first part is also absolutely terrifying, if you’re in to original sountracks, make sure to pick that one up. it’ll send shivers down your spine.



de Caluwé - A series that has done more wrong than right for me, however the original is absolutely killer, with an excellent performance of Brad Douriff who has such an iconic voice. Chucky rightfully has his place as a horror icon, but they honestly should have stopped at part two. Hopefully the film makers can recreate the magic that was present in the original at some point.

TERRIFER 2 (2022)


de Caluwé - Also a more recent film that probably doesn’t need an introduction at this point as it caused so much reaction when it got to theaters in the U.S. I’ll be honest, the first time I saw the first Terrifier, I wasn’t a 100% sold, mainly due to the mediocre acting. However the second one had me hooked. A very bizarre world and tale centered around Art the Clown which afterwards made me rewatch the first and enjoy it much more as well. Daniel Leone pushed the envelope when it came to violence on screen and Art is probably the only newer horror slasher that can hold my attention. I can’t wait for the next part.



de Caluwé - Such a bleak, bleak, depressing score and film. The world has ended and the last survivors are looking for a way out. This, along with Dawn of the Dead are my favourite zombie movies and Romero did an amazing job at capturing this dreadful, nightmarish vision of what the future could look like. Terrifying to this day.



de Caluwé - I know lots of people will react oddly to this. There are two versions of this film - there’s the theatrical cut, which I honestly really enjoyed as well. But the main reason here for me is the version that never made it to the big screen: The original cut that actually features Brad Douriff and has nothing to do with exorcism in itself. I won’t spoil much but this version has great acting and a very unique story. Check it out if you can.


Vault of Horrors is currently available via Nuclear Blast.
Order the album - HERE
Catch Aborted LIVE as the band supports Archspire for The Everything's F#*!@D  Summer Tour along with support from Carcosa and Alluvial. See the complete list of dates and cities below.
Get tickets - HERE

The Everything's F#*!@D Tour
May 31st - Edmonton, AB @ Midway Music Hall
June 1st - Calgary, AB @ The Palace Theatre
June 2nd - Saskatoon, SK @ Coors Event Centre
June 3rd - Winnipeg, MB @ Park Theatre
June 5th - Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theater
June 6th - Chicago, IL @ Metro
June 7th - Detroit, MI @ The Majestic Theatre
June 8th - Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Theatre
June 9th - Montreal, QC @ Club Soda
June 10th - Quebec City, QC @ Théâtre Capitole
June 11th - Boston, MA @ Royale
June 12th - Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw
June 13th - Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Soundstage
June 14th - Charlotte, NC @ Neighborhood Theatre
June 15th - Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade - Heaven
June 16th - Tampa, FL @ The Orpheum
June 17th - Fort Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution Live
June 18th - Orlando, FL @ The Abbey
June 20th - Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
June 21st - Dallas, TX @ Studio at The Factory
June 22nd - Austin, TX @ Come and Take It Live
June 24th - Phoenix, AZ @ The Nile Theater
June 25th - Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory
June 26th - Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades
June 28th - Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
June 29th - Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
June 30th - Vancouver, BC @ The Vogue Theatre


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