Date Released: March 25th 2014
Label: Self Released
The Abyss track listing:
Symbiosis are an Experimental Sludge/Post-Metal band influenced by the legendary world of Peter Parker and Spider-Man.
The Band Members
John Haylor: bass
Adam Labutka: vocals
Brendan Stephens: guitar, vocals
Kyle Wagoner: drums
Symbiosis made an impression on me back in 2012 when they released their 2011 debut album – The Alien. A haunting and powerful tale influenced by the legendary comic book character – Peter Parker and Spider-Man. Symbiosis managed to mix comic book mythology with epic Sludge/Post-metal riffs for one nightmarish tale that was undeniably bleak. I interviewed Adam from the band back in 2012 as well.
Symbiosis promised back in 2012 they would continue their own dark tale of the legendary webslinger. Fast forward two years and the band are back with – THE ABYSS – an epic 62 minute album that once again explores the dark world of a truly iconic character.
Symbiosis have upped their game on this album as it's a truly stunning tale of brutal Sludge/Post-Metal riffs with added menace of Crust and Hardcore metal to heighten those legendary Spidey senses. The first album ended on such a dark note with Spider-Man not actually not saving the day.
Where could Symbiosis go on the next exciting chapter – Simple. They go bigger, bolder and even darker on THE ABYSS. First track Segue – starts off with an ambient post-rock style number with narration coming from a Charlton Heston movie which sets up the scene superbly well.
Then the album really starts with the epic 17 minute track – Symbiote – which details more of the complex journey that Symbiosis have in store for the listener. If you/re not interested with the whole Spider-Man angle then you can immerse yourself with the pummelling Sludge/Post-Metal riffs the band have in store for you. It's loud, dark, violent, beautiful and epic in scope all in one go.
Symbiosis add equal measures of light and darkness with Post-Rock ambience added in through out the album before the band unleash hell on earth. If you're a fan of Fall Of Efrafa, ISIS and Neurosis then you will find much to admire here. And if you're comic book fan as well then you're in luck as well.
People may think this band and album is a gimmick. Trust me – It's not as Symbiosis are passionate about their music. This is an album that none of the Spider-Man films can match as this is a gut-wrenching and dark thriller told through the power of music. You can feel the anguish that Peter Parker/Spider-Man goes through. And that is mainly down to some spellbinding lyrics and killer vocals from Adam who sings his heart out here.
The Alien maybe a more action packed and condensed album compared to The Abyss. But this album is so much more. It makes you think what would you do with these legendary powers. Is it worth all the pain and torture that our lead character goes through on the album.
Tracks such as Kraven and Ezekiel prove Symbiosis have delivered a stunning and almost near perfect Sludge/Post-Metal album. It has a rich story that will require multiple listens to get the full effect. With Kraven being on for almost 10 mins and Ezekiel for 14 mins, you have to give this album your full attention. As you may miss very important clues to the overall story of the album.
The band are immense through out. They never let up for a single second. You can tell they put their hearts and souls into this album as they have created some epic riffs to fuck up your day....
Though the album comes to one epic final battle on the 19 minute track – Mephisto – which starts with an ambient post-rock vibe before exploding into one loud battle that will have you on the edge of your seats. This is the final battle as Symbiosis unleash one epic final battle for Peter Parker/Spider-Man to face-off against. It leaves the album on sombre and depressing note. You would never have an ending like this in the comic books or films that have graced our lives for the best part of 51 years or so.
The Abyss is a complex album that may put some people off. But who says music has to be easy to understand and follow a simple structure. Symbiosis have delivered the goods yet again. They may never release another Spider-Man based album as it will be pretty hard to beat this brilliant album. I am looking forward into seeing what they will release next. It could be another comic book character. Though I doubt it....
The Abyss is an excellent album and it only furthers Symbiosis reputation for being one of the most creative bands within the Sludge/Post-Metal field. Not many people know about this great band. Maybe this is the album that may change all that.
Brilliant. End Of.
The Abyss will be available to buy on CD/DD from BandCamp on March 25th 2014. Thanks to the band for sending me a promo to review.
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Written by Steve Howe