Abiotic – Ikigai (Review)

Abiotic - IkigaiThis is the third album from US death metallers Abiotic.

Abiotic play modern death metal that takes influence from the technical and progressive strains of the style, as well as from some elements of deathcore. The promo blurb states that Ikiagi is for fans of bands such as The Faceless, Gojira, The Black Dahlia Murder, Job for a Cowboy, and Rivers of Nihil, and it’s hard to argue with this.

The music is nicely heavy, with a crunchy, punchy presence that immediately makes an impression. The songs are well-written, and balance the band’s different influences well. The technical aspects can be head-spinning, but not overly so. The progressive aspects allow for depth of delivery, but without the band losing themselves. Meanwhile, the deathcore lends a dynamic aspect to the music that adds great energy, but without dumbing things down. Tied together with their modern death metal framework, Abiotic have crated a very strong slab of heavy music on Ikigai.

This approach makes for songs that benefit from elements of all of these parent styles. Across this album you’ll find moments of catchiness and hooks the size of mountains. You’ll also find progressive depth, jazzy workouts, and emotive melodies. You’ll also occasionally bump into the sort of manic tech-death explosion that’ll knock you to the floor. And sometimes, the band will just casually unleash the sort of crushing breakdown that’ll leave you flattened.

As if the above was not enough, the music on Ikigai is further enriched by a range of finer details, nuances, and creative ideas across its 51-minute running time. Atmospheric enhancements from keyboards work well with the rest of the music to embellish the band’s core aggression. A plethora of guests infest the album too, from current and ex-members of bands such as Archspire, The Black Dahlia Murder, The Contortionist, and Fallujah. These guests add extra spice to an already tasty offering.

Ikigai is well-written, well-presented, and enjoyably realised. It’s a very satisfying album, and fans of modern heavy music from a range of different styles should find something to like here. This is modern death metal played with talent and skill.

Very highly recommended.

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