Friday, June 21, 2024

Review: Aversions Crown – Xenocide

From the early days of rock music, Australia has produced some utterly fantastic bands. We all know AC/DC, and on the contemporary end, who doesn’t like Parkway Drive? Well, get ready to welcome the latest member to the family: Aversions Crown.

Formed in Brisbane in 2010, the lads set about working on their plans for world domination by self-releasing their debut album, Servitude, with Andy Marsh of Thy Art is Murder and Mark Lewis of Whitechapel helming the production. They were quickly snapped up by Nuclear Blast, and have continued to hone their craft to bring us their third effort; Xenocide.

Opening with ‘Void’, a droning ambience with hugely distorted, hypnotic percussion, you can tell this is going to be a more thoughtfully considered affair than any paint-by-numbers album coming from Aversions Crown’s subgenre. This is a motif theme they maintain throughout, rather than a throwaway introductory 90-seconds. Then the album really kicks off.

‘Prismatic Abyss’ opens with a riff that straddles the line between deathcore and NWOBHM, before Mark Poida assaults the listener with the aural shotgun blast that is his voice. Seamlessly trading between Cannibal Corpse levels of proficient death growls, pig squeals that hark back to Burn the Priest-era Lamb of God, black metal rasps that would make Ihsahn blush, and straight up thrash metal shouts, the range and fluidity with which Poida expresses himself makes him head and shoulders above the vast majority of his peers.

The album’s high point is the one-two punch of ‘Hybridization’ and ‘Erebus’ – not to downplay how bloody good the rest of the record is – as it is the zenith of the band’s musicianship, and extra praise must be given to Jayden Mason. The dexterity that this man drums with is just stunning; given how mechanically precise the double bass drumming is, and the velocity with which he plays the entire kit, the man must have eight limbs.

That Aversions Crown exist within a genre that has often been derided, if not ridiculed, for the best part of the last decade, the fact that they can produce something of such impressive craftsmanship is blissful. Eddie Hermida of Suicide Silence fame has been lashing out at the deathcore scene, to which Thy Art is Murder responded with a limited run of ‘Make Deathcore Great Again’ hats. There is a very good chance that Aversions Crown are going to spearhead the revival.

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