Album Review: ABIOTIC Casuistry
April 21st, 2015 marks the 3rd release by Abiotic. Since their forming in 2010, the band has constructed an EP in 2011, as well as a full-length album entitled Symbiosis which was put out by Metal Blade in 2012. After a few band member changes, and now some years of touring and writing music together, this Miami, Florida based band is not as annoying as the mosquitoes their home state is so well known for.
So what makes Casuistry not as annoying or boring? Their last release, Symbiosis, was nothing to get excited over. It was the bands first full-length album, and not every first release can be a musical success. What I am able to recall, without going back and re-tormenting myself by re-listening to the entire album, is that there were a bunch of technical-like riffs thrown in between breakdowns that incorporated an off timed effect. This was accompanied by a poor vocal performance (now replaced) and miniature guitar solos that were nice, but very uncharacteristic of the rest of the music.
What Abiotic has done with Casuistry is that they drastically improved their sound. One of the obvious differences is the presence of their new vocalist. Travis Bartosek brings a refreshing vocal performance, executing both high-pitched screams along with lower growls. The diversity keeps the music flowing and entertaining. The smooth transitions demonstrate vocal proficiency and the lyrics are more clearly audible than many similar bands.
The guitar solos are much more mature and have a melodic flow to them. Gone are the short solos that were forcefully thrown into songs. The new portions that embrace the solos serve as purposeful structure, allowing the song to capitalize on the various segments. These solos avoid stealing the attention, but add a melodic congruency with the surrounding efforts.
The bass remains a prominent influence, but when appearing for solos in limited excerpts, the bass has much more flow and a progressive impression. More than once, I thought of Beyond Creation when hearing a bass portion. This is a positive experience, and although the bass is not as distinguished, its intentional appearance is met with delight, rather than the blown out of proportion, vehement bass solos which were found on older releases.
"Cast into the Depths" is an excellent example of how far the band has come. They seem to finally be finding their sound. Most of the album has a consistent feel where each song is distinguishable. During this song, the recurring lead guitar riff, matched with the distinct song structure and recurring chorus-like segments, rounds this song out to have a complete bond with itself.
Another favorite song is "Nightmares of Your Conception". Beginning with an interesting solo, the song then drops into a fast pace Djent-style rhythm that follows to the end of the track. Throughout are fast blast beats, spicy drum fills, and some strong bass support. A highlight is at minute 2:45, there is an excellent bass groove, where the supporting drums are double the tempo of the bass.
Abiotic has put themselves on the map in my book. I look forward to future releases that carry the same progression as this album did. It sounds like an entirely new band as they have refined their sound. They are now officially making more technical death metal music, while their last album pleaded with the genre tag for acceptance, but fell far short in my eyes. Pick up the album and take you mind for a ride. At the very least, it will take your mind off the annoying mosquitoes this summer.