I try to keep my ear to the ground and my finger on the pulse, but things still slip through. Case in point, local tech-death band Abriosis, whom I first read about in Cosmo Lee’s Decibel demo column. I made a mental note to check them out, then didn’t follow up. I am a fool. I finally had a chance to catch Abriosis earlier this summer at the Riffs Not Riots show, where they knocked me on my ass. I could not believe that these guys weren’t from Quebec, Canada’s home for Advanced Metal Studies. Afterwards, I looked them up online and found that they were offering this new album as a free download. It’s ridiculous to me that this world-class work of art is being given away, so I promise to buy a t-shirt or some physical product next time I see them, all right?
Abriosis fuse the avant-garde discord of Voivod with the breakneck, off-time thrash of Atheist, along with more modern death metal influences. They’re vicious but cerebral. They wield their technical abilities with wisdom and taste. Dissonant as they are, they’re not deliberately perverse with it. The song structures make sense and every song offers a few accessible riffs for the listener to cling to amidst the mayhem. “Repudiate the Lies” is especially catchy, and has the added attractions of a brief bass solo followed by a guitar workout that unleashes some serious Holdsworth shit.
What stands out for me is the care with which each member of Abriosis crafts interlocking parts. They don’t simply duplicate each other; each musician contributes something audibly distinct in creating this huge wall of metal. It’s especially gratifying to hear their screaming, growling vocalist (now ex-vocalist) synching his lyrics to the flow of the music instead of ranting distractingly overtop of everything. (I hope his replacement follows suit.) As my neighbour Luke said to me after seeing their set, the band clearly listens to each other. Nobody’s caught up in their own trip; they all rule as one.
This near-flawless debut full-length will definitely help them build an audience—their summer tour to Halifax and back couldn't have hurt either—and I hope they can link up and tour with some more established bands to take their lockstep brutality worldwide.