Ah, Florida. Home of oranges, dodgy election recounts and Death fucking Metal. Chances are, if you reside in the Sunshine state and are into alternative music then you’ll at least have heard of some of the bands in that most brutal of genres, and you probably won’t be surprised to hear that new acts are cropping up all the time. There must be something in the water beside the alligators, for what else could explain the sheer ferocity of Metal Blade newbies Abiotic, who sound like they could take on one of Florida’s resident reptiles with cold-blooded ease.
Instead of teasing the listener with a brief bit of instrumental fluff, Abiotic use their minute-long intro to showcase their devastating tech-death wares before immediately launching into the hyper-speed maelstrom that is ‘Vermosapien.’ Coming across like The Faceless being tortured by Origin in some ancient, alien-built temple while members of Atheist dabble with otherworldly weaponry in the background, Abiotic sound utterly lethal. The breakdowns that frequently occur merely serve to emphasise the relentless heaviness rather than interrupt the flow, a trick few bands of this genre manage to pull off credibly. ‘A Universal Plague’ introduces some smooth jazzy solos amid the monstrous Beneath the Massacre-esque breakdowns and blasting sections to allow you to catch your breath while ‘To Burgeon and Languish’ and ‘Conquest of Gilese’ go for the throat as breakdown upon breakdown inflicts horrendous damage on your ear canals with a sadistic glee.
It’s a testament to the skill of the musicians that standout track ‘Hegira’ happens to be an instrumental, where we are given full insight into the burgeoning complexity and jaw-dropping talent that the members of Abiotic possess. We are taken on a terrifying, yet mesmerising voyage through realms of bug-eyed shredding, punishing time signatures, bewitching solos and intricate drumming that doesn’t so much raise the bar as batter the competition to a bloody pulp with it. It’s crucial to highlight the contribution of vocalist Ray Jiminez to “Symbiosis” though, as his combination of searing screeches and dense grunts offer yet more variety and lend each track an unpredictable bent. The frenzied riffs of ‘The Singe’ offer up a masterclass in unhinged technicality while ‘Facades’ and ‘The Graze of Locusts’ maintain the intensity to the bitter end, smashing tech-death and deathcore together with ever increasing force like some malignant particle accelerator.
As debut albums go, “Symbiosis” takes some beating. When confronted with the sonic bedlam that Abiotic have administered here, the only real option is to step back to witness its hateful work in full and admit that you are not worthy of being in the presence of such futuristic lunacy. This is a band destined for great things.