After releasing their debut EP in 2011, the stateside-based team of highly trained tech death musicians known as Abiotic went on to release two full-length albums, and tour extensively, before falling unexpectedly quiet sometime in 2016. Now Abiotic returns after five years, just as abruptly as they left. Like a warrior returning from training in seclusion under a master so mysterious as to be mythological, Abiotic reemerge from the mists with an achievement of staggering heaviness and incredible daring.
“Our intention behind Ikigai was to come back with a vengeance,” admits John Matos, one of Abiotic’s two guitar slayers. “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.”
Matos continues to explain: “The title Ikigai translates from Japanese as ‘a reason for being.’ Each song represents a different approach to that concept. After 5 long years, we decided that as much as we love albums about space and aliens, we wanted to write something that could be felt and that would be relatable, as we all struggle to find our reason to carry on in these trying times. Lyrically, this album tells so many stories. The cover art depicts a traditional Samurai committing seppuku and as the Samurai is bleeding out, he sees these lives, his future lives. Life as a trans man/woman facing intolerance, as an addict, as an abused child battling mental health, as an owl as its home is destroyed by climate change; an infinite amount of lives struggling, but persevering in their struggle. Tying it all together, he finds his purpose in that moment of connection before he passes away on that field in 16th century Japan.”