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If you’re the type of person to keep up on the happenings of the underground metal scene then chances are you’ve stumbled across the name “Abiotic” in the last year or so. It may have been on an ambiguous headline on lambgoat or metalsucks, or maybe your overweight metal-hipster friend once wore a shirt of theirs for three days straight. Regardless of where you might have seen or heard the name, the point is that it reached you, and this is not a coincidence. Ever since the band unleashed their first EP “A Universal Plague” (2011) their music has been spreading like WILDFIRE, immediately attracting the attention of one of the biggest players in the game, the legendary Metal Blade records. Abiotic was quickly signed to the label and are currently touring the country and spreading the infection in celebration of their upcoming Metal Blade debut and first full length release, “Symbiosis”.
Upon first inspection of the record’s track listing, one quickly becomes aware that all seven tracks appearing on last year’s “A Universal Plague” EP reappear in relatively the same order on “Symbiosis”; slightly disappointing given that the new record is only ten tracks to begin with, and two of them are instrumentals (albeit very good ones). So when looking at this record through the eyes of a cynic, it is less of a new full length and more of an extended re-release of last year’s utterly fantastic “A Universal Plague”. With that being said, if you’ve listened to that EP and did not enjoy it, just stop reading now. There is nothing for you here.
For those who are new to Abiotic, their sound can best be summarized as very technical and melodic deathcore. Fans of artists such as The Faceless, Veil of Maya and Wretched will feel right at home with all of the technical shred and polyrhythmic groove to be found here. The songs are structured in a way that mostly resembles progressive/technical death metal, with occasional breakdowns and polyrhythmic beat downs, laced with occasional electronic flourishes and ambient touches to create a wall of sound that is just devastatingly evil and undeniably metal.
It is no surprise at all that this five piece band hails from Florida, death metal capital of the country, because they absolutely fucking shred. Both guitarists showcase a wide variety of technique and always know the right direction to take the song in order to keep it interesting and engaging. Some songs take a more straight-forward tech-death approach (Vermosapien, Conquest of Gliese) which is incredibly effective, but Abiotic really shines on their more progressive tracks such as “A Universal Plague”, “To Burgeon and Languish” and “The Graze of Locusts”. The rhythm sections does an absolutely perfect job of accenting the furious fretwork. The drummer is a metronomic machine and the drumming is produced perfectly for a death metal record. The snare has just the right amount of pop, and the kick drums never come off as muddy or droning. Easily one of the best parts of Abiotic, and one of their defining traits, is their awesome bass work. It is incredibly rare that a bassist can even be heard on a majority of metal releases, but Abiotic makes sure that the bass is not only audible, but is actually competing with the other instruments for attention. All four of the musicians pieces come together to form an ever-twisting, metallic beast that is simply fun to listen to. Not even the instrumentals are skippable.
Not only does Abiotic outshine their competitors instrumentally, but vocally as well. The vocals are everything one could ask for of a band in this genre. The ranges shift from some of the highest highs available in heavy music to some seriously basement-level lows and gutturals, and each range is deployed at exactly the right parts throughout the album. The vocal arrangements appearing during the breakdowns in “Vermosapien” and “Facades” are particularly earth shattering. It’s all just put together so well, I really can’t see how anyone who likes death metal or deathcore could have anything bad to say about these guys. They literally do everything right, and they do it so much faster and better than most of the other bands out there. Whether or not you’ve already bought their last EP is irrelevant. Yes, “Symbiosis” consists mostly of re-released material, but you’ve never heard Abiotic sound this good. Most notably, the bass appears to be much louder on the newer versions of the old songs, which sounds excellent and gives Abiotic an even clearer sense of identity. If you like heavy, fast metal of any kind, you NEED to at least check this out, chances are you will not be disappointed. Support these guys, buy the record and go to shows, this could be the next big thing in metal.
For Fans of: The Faceless, Wretched, Decades of Despair, Rings of Saturn, Diskreet
CLICK the link below for a chance to win some Abiotic gear and a free download of “Facades”!