Personnel: Ray Jimenez (Vocals), John Matos (Guitar), Matt Mendez (Guitar), Andres Hurtado (Drums), and Alex Vazquez (Bass).
Liner notes: Productions notes and lyrics.
1. Metamorphilia – A 55-second instrumental introduction that bleeds into the next song. Open with a The Shining-esque music and it sets the tone for the rest. Alex Vasquez shreds the lower registers of your speakers and rattles your innards with his work that continues into . . .
2. Vermosapien – The mark of this track is unclear unless you are paying attention to your CD player. There is no silence between these two tracks. This is something that can be underappreciated if listening to this album in digital format. But the mark begins when Ray Jimenez (master composer and vocalist) opens his lungs, chanting from his heart and gut.
3. A Universal Plague – Mid-song there is a gorgeous jazz breakdown Jaco Pastorius style. Makes seems getting the plague like such a sweet delight . . . whoops! But it showcases the versatility of talent among the musicians in Abiotic.
4. To Burgeon and Languish – So many notes, so little time.
5. Hegira – One of my favorites on the album. It is an instrumental with soaring solos and pit-a-licious speed and grinding undertones. And in this, the beast awakens.
6. Conquest of Gliese – At this point in reading the lyrics, I’m not sure if I want to understand the imagery and message that Ray Jimenez is portraying. I feel like I’m peeking inside his mind.
7. The Singe – Halting and choppy on purpose.
8. Exitus – Very soft cymbal work by Andres Hurtado work in an undertone in a more industrial metal style intro into this instrumental track.
9. Facades – The beauty of calling out the hypocrites in the major religions of so-called peace across the world is the over-arching theme of this song. Here Ray chants with more clarity as the final message is reached. In the music, you can picture the message being preached, with the “choral” of pounding electric strings singing the praises and exaltations of agreement.
10. The Graze of Locusts – In the final track, we have a continuation of the ‘sermon’ with lyrics approaching a psalmic quality, “When this life fades I’ll be at rest.” And a final call to action, “Let’s build a sphinx of meaning that never weathers.”
Overall, Ray’s voice is something to get used to. But I like the musicianship so much on this that I will give this a 4 out of 5.
Listening notes: Samsung NP-300 Laptop. Windows 8.1. Old Altec Lansing speakers that I should probably upgrade, but they still work. And a few spins in my 2006 HHR.
Purchased from the band at their show in October 2013 in Dallas, Texas.