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Music / Abiotic

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Abiotic is an American technical death metal/deathcore act. Once a small fish in the big deathcore pond, their growth as artists was not matched by commercial success, and financial concerns forced them to break up initially, but a combination of unwavering fan support, posthumous discovery by new fans, and the more stable personal financial situations of the core members have allowed them to pick up where they left off and work towards a career as a band that they had never managed to create the first time around.

Formed in Miami, Florida in 2010 by Ray Jimenez (vocals), John Matos, Matt Mendez (guitars), Alex Vazquez (bass), and Andres Hurtado (drums), the band quickly made a name for themselves in South and Central Florida, and by 2011, they had released A Universal Plague, their debut EP. A deal with Metal Blade Records quickly followed in early 2012, and the band began touring outside of Florida. Symbiosis, their debut full-length, dropped that fall. 2013 arrived with their first real tours, though Jimenez and Hurtado left sometime around the middle of the year and were quickly replaced by Dickie Allen and Aaron Stechauner. The new inductees did not last long into 2014, however, and another member search occurred, which brought in Travis Bartosek and Brent Phillips. The band returned to the end of the studio around the end of 2014, and Casuistry, their sophomore full-length, was released in April of 2015. The band resumed touring and continued on through 2015 and into 2016, but Phillips wound up leaving after their first European run with Suffocation and Cattle Decapitation in 2016, and after hastily drafting Matt Paulazzo as a fill-in for a Canadian run with Necronomicon that summer, the band broke up, citing serious financial problems that prevented them from being able to afford to continue as a band, along with an unspoken implication that they knew that they had gotten as big as they realistically were going to get.

The next two years brought occasional flickers of activity, but the band mostly tended to their personal lives. Around the middle of 2018, the band began to seriously tease a return, and the new lineup was eventually announced that fall: Bartosek, Matos, Mendez, and Stechauner were returning, while Kilian Duarte (Scale the Summit) was taking over on bass. The band stated that new material was coming, and 2019 brought both their first live shows since 2016 and "Emerald", a new song, though Stechauner had other commitments that ultimately forced him to duck out of the reunion, and Anthony Lusk-Simone (Pathogenic) wound up filling Stechauner's spot after tracking the drums on "Emerald" as a guest. After concluding their first major post-reunion tour, they doubled down on completing a new album and signed a deal with The Artisan Era around the end of 2019. Ikigai, their first full-length in six years, will drop in February of 2021.


  • A Universal Plague (2011) (EP, rereleased as A Universal Plague: Mutation in 2021 with new artwork, a new song, and a tweaked and rerecorded version of "Vermosapien")
  • Symbiosis (2012)
  • Casuistry (2015)
  • Emerald (2019) (single)
  • Ikigai (2021)


  • Addled Addict: "If I Do Die" is sung from the POV of someone with serious addiction problems who desperately wants to get clean, but can't make it stick, while also knowing that they can't do it alone but have also burned so many bridges that they doubt that anyone is still willing to give them a chance and help them.
  • The Alleged Car: Their old van was a shitheap that, among other things, once had a brake drum scrape so bad that it made a tire explode, had the heater core go out and piss coolant into the cabin for several days until they could get it fixed, and finally had the rear axle split in the middle of upstate New York, forcing them to beg their families for enough money to buy another van just so they could make it home.
  • Ascended Extra: Anthony Lusk-Simone started out as a bandmate of Kilian Duarte's in Lattermath and became friends with John Matos after he moved up to the Boston area, jumped on board to record "Emerald", wound up tracking drums for it after Aaron Stechauner had to bail on the reunion, and was quickly inducted in as a full member after filling in on tour.
  • Concept Album: Ikigai chronicles a disgraced samurai committing seppuku and seeing visions of his future incarnations and the suffering they also experience in their time in his dying moments.
  • Deathcore: Symbiosis was technical deathcore, and while Casuistry dropped most of the deathcore elements, it still had some fairly noticeable traces of it.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Symbiosis had prominent brutal deathcore elements, as well as being significantly faster and more tech-oriented, with none of the prog elements that would come to define their sound.
  • Epic Rocking: "A Universal Plague" (6:50), "Facades" (6:26), and "Hegira" (6:12).
  • Grief Song: "Emerald", about the day that the wife of a friend of the band died.
  • Hollywood New England: As of the reunion, they are largely based out of the Boston area (where John Matos and Kilian Duarte live) and Central Massachusetts (where Anthony Lusk-Simone lives), and are generally viewed as a New England band more than anything else.
  • Humans Are Bastards: "Vermosapien".
  • Instrumentals: "Hegira".
  • Lead Bassist: Alex Vazquez was a Type A, Type C, and Type D, as he was famous for his technical ability, was one of the most recognizable members of the band due to his ability, and played a major role in their established style with his basslines, while Kilian Duarte is also a Type A and Type D due to his own well-known technical ability and prominent basslines that feature heavily in their style.
  • Lead Drummer: Anthony Lusk-Simone is widely known in New England for his role as the longtime drummer of the Northern Massachusetts prog/deathcore act Pathogenic, his technical ability, and for Zenbeast Audio, his recording studio. He also played a fairly substantial role in helping John Matos get the band back together and was overall an integral figure in the reunited band before he even joined. He is also an accomplished animator and handled all the videos for Ikigai.
  • Loudness War: Triumphantly averted by Ikigai, which comes in at an average of DR10, which is shockingly dynamic for a modern release period, let alone a tech-death release. Anthony Lusk-Simone (who mixed and mastered it) has consistently averted this with everything he has mastered, making this something to be expected from him.
  • Metal Scream: Ray Jimenez, Dickie Allen, and Travis Bartosek are or were all Type 2 and Type 3 examples, with the main difference being that Travis uses more traditional death metal vocals instead of the deathcore vocals that Ray and Dickie used.
  • New Sound Album: All full-lengths have featured noticeable shifts in sound:
    • Casuistry substantially downplayed the deathcore elements, with a greatly increased focus on tech.
    • Ikigai brought back a bit of the deathcore, but also took a more prog-oriented direction, as well as introducing noticeable Symphonic Metal elements.
  • Purple Prose/Word Salad Lyrics: A common criticism of Ray Jimenez's lyrics, which were often viewed as unnecessarily verbose to the point of often not making sense.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: Ikigai started out as material that John Matos was writing for a solo project, but after posting some clips on Facebook, Travis Bartosek messaged him and started talking about the possibility of bringing back Abiotic and using that material, which was the official point where the reunion started to take form.
  • Religion Rant Song: "Facades". Zigzagged with most of Travis Bartosek's lyrics; while they are critical of religion, they criticize the violence and ignorance that it is used to justify and its use as a tool of social control.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Ray Jimenez was famous for his incredibly shrill, screechy highs.
  • Soprano and Gravel: All of their vocalists have made use of both highs and lows, while Jonathan Carpenter provided guest cleans on "Grief Eater, Tear Drinker" on Ikigai.
  • Special Guest: John Vail (ex-Wretched), John Gallagher, Paul Waggoner, Trevor Strnad, Brandon Ellis, Scott Carstairs, Chaney Crabb, Jared Smith, and Jonathan Carpenter (Foreign Waves, ex-The Contortionist) have all appeared as album guests, while Matt Paulazzo was a onetime live fill-in and Anthony Lusk-Simone started out as a onetime studio member and became a live fill-in out of necessity before he joined full-time.
  • Technical Death Metal: Casuistry (albeit with some remaining deathcore elements), though they always had this as a central feature in their sound even when they played deathcore.
  • Updated Re-release: A Universal Plague: Mutation is a digital and vinyl rerelease of A Universal Plague with new artwork, a redone version of "Vermosapien", and a new song.
  • World-Wrecking Wave: "The Singe".