Welcome to another great Wednesday of Extreme of the Extreme. This week marks the long-awaited return of tech-death outfit, Abiotic. For anyone who's been keeping up with the band, they've announced their new album Ikigai is to release in February 2021.
On Abiotic's new album, they'll feature a slew of guest musicians to help alongside their already very talented lineup. Today, the first single from Ikigai is available, "Souvenir of Skin". On the surface, "Souvenir of Skin" is a super aggressive track that sets a high bar for the new album. That said, there's a whole other level to this track.
While vocalist Travis Bartosek can command these songs easily, it's the inclusion of Trevor Strnad (The Black Dahlia Murder) that pushes the track one step further. Given Strnad's generally higher scream style and Bartosek's overall lower growl, putting these two side by side is the perfect mix by pure contrast.
Guitarist John Matos had quite a bit to say about Ikigai, "Our intention behind Ikigai was to come back with a vengeance. As it has been over 5 years since our last release, we wanted to put together the most cohesive, diverse, deep, and brain shattering record we possibly could and I feel like we've achieved that and more with this album. Having written this over the course of the last couple of years and finishing this record during a pandemic, the feelings we sought to bring out with this record; pain, grief, desperation, and perseverance are palpable in every note, every chord, and every word, with lyrics touching on topics of suicide, depression, addiction, climate change and the struggle of finding our reason for being.
We wanted to make this record real and relatable in every sense. This album is without a doubt the best material we've ever put together, with brand new elements, and a production/mix that has taken our sound to new heights. The addition of Tony Simone and Kilian Duarte solidified this. We decided to include a variety of guests that we've always wanted to collaborate with, like Trevor Strnad, Chaney Crabb, Brandon Ellis, Scott Carstairs, Jared Smith, and Jonathan Carpenter, and are beyond excited for everyone to hear them.
We really wanted to push the boundaries of what fans expect from us while giving them the signature sound we've honed in that they've come to love. Personally, Ikigai is one of the greatest accomplishments of my life, especially after not knowing if the band was ever going to come back. But we're back. And we're here to stay."