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Aversions Crown - Xenocide Award winner

Aversions Crown
Xenocide
by Gabriel “Svrtr” Zimmermann at 28 February 2017, 3:19 AM

(I will instantly preface this review by saying, I have known this band for a while and have greatly loved their recent works so pardon any hype I show for “Xenocide” because I am sure I will show some bias.)

Deathcore as it used to exist, at least in my eyes and the eyes of other Metalheads I know, is dying. This is not to say the genre is dying, but the genre as we knew it is dying. This is because Deathcore bands, old and new alike, have begun to incorporate many new genres and sounds. From a more orchestral-esque and melodic sound (for lack of a better term) done by MAKE THEM SUFFER to a more blackened and technical sound done recently by LORNA SHORE, the genre as a whole is evolving in a few direction. Today I get the joy of presenting to you the Deathcore band who took a turn for the more death intensive side, AVERSIONS CROWN, and their newest album. Born in what seems to be a haven for Deathcore, Australia, back in 2010, their initial sound and first album “Servitude” (under Summerland Records) had a rather bland and uninspired deathcore sound if I am completely truthful. It was not until 2014’s “Tyrant” that I began to pay attention, because in that album there was a sound that helped to set the band apart, a shower of higher technicality and song structure that, while in its own right was good, told of potential and the possible greatness of future endeavors that the band might release.

However, it was in 2016, with the release of their singles “Erebus” and “Parasites” that I began to really love the band. The technical prowess and amazing brutal riffs of “Erebus” and the chillingly ambient and atmospheric sound of “Parasites” layered with great beats and sounds and terrific progression made me instantly love the band. This year they released the culmination of their growth and progress in the form of “Xenocide”, and for me personally it is an amazing way to start off the year. I have rambled on quite a bit so without further ado, I will get started and try to contain my excitement.

Opening with a two-minute build up that does extremely well to exude a sense of impending invasion by alien overlords to bring about the ruination of humanity in the form of the opening track “Void”, it leads into the opening song “Prismatic Abyss”. Featuring some great shrieks, brutal beats, and some great and technically impressive riffs all layered into some great progression. One thing AC has always managed to do well is create a sound that sounds alien and cosmic in nature, and the riffs in this song do extremely well to exemplify this. I must also give props to Jayden Mason for his drumming capabilities, and must again reference my joke that if gods walk among us, they do so as death metal drummers because Mason’s capabilities to keep up the rapid fire blast beat drumming. Following this up is “The Soulless Acolyte”, which I bring up because of it’s showing of the bands inclusion of their more atmospheric aspects. In its own right, it is a good song. Very solid riffs, great beats, the right length, and all of that. However, when it comes to the bridge the atmospheric sounds they were playing with back in the time of “Parasites” shows, and it greatly adds to the song overall. While by no means as atmospheric, the great blend of Deathmetal/Core with the Atmospheric Deathcore combine to create a great sound for the song. This blend is what helps to make me so love AVERSIONS CROWN, and the skill and structuring of the song really stands out among deathcore for me.

Next is “Hybridization”, which I talk about largely for its bridge. Again, while a great song alone I want to talk about and bring up this one aspect. In the bridge, they again show their stronger incorporation of a more death intensive beat and ambient or atmospheric sounds to help the song stand apart. While the ambience is nice, I want to talk more about their change in structure for the first part of the bridge, with the drum beat and riffs being more pronounced, putting heavier emphasis and incorporating more alternation that is more apparent and less of a stream of music. This combined with what I jokingly call an “Atmospheric Breakdown” help to make the song structuring and progression really stand out again. Following this up is the song I so greatly said I admired, “Erebus”.  However, this is “Erebus” at is exists on the album and not as it was released as the single, and the album version greatly improved an already amazing song. The opening is still the same in its ambient build up, it is not until the sudden opening of brutal riffs that you can instantly hear it has a cleaner sound and is better mastered. The rhythm guitar plays a more prominent rule, there are plenty of ambient and alien sounds that give a sense of great and technical metal and epic fearsome awakening of something ancient and evil. This as well as numerous changes to the riffs that are more technical than the original single, more cleanly mastered vocals, alterations to the drum beat that are more intensive than the original, a new fade out outro featuring a great and sombering little guitar tune, there are many little things that are easy to notice that add up to easily make this song my favorite on the album. An amazing album that had an already great song that was made infinitesimally better, this song is worth a listen to by anyone who listens to the album.

The next song I find worth mentioning is “The Oracles of Existence” for its masterful composition. Beautifully blending a simple yet elegant melody that goes extremely well with the brutal and technical riff creating a great blend of the technical/confrontational and ambient in the form of a relatively simple tune that is massively expanded upon and improved, the song is easy to get lost in admiring the masterful sound of it all. Following this is the song that would be my favorite had “Erebus” not been on the album, “Cynical Entity”. Again, it is for the melodic and ambient tune infused with brutal and technical riffs and beats that is so easy to get lost in, to simply sit there and admire the song and not want to stop listening. What helps to drive this song so well is the simple yet elegant riffs of the rhythm guitar and bass, guiding the gradual and elegant tune. This song almost leans towards a somewhat blackened sound, combined with the ambient Deathmetal/Core. While I love “Erebus” for its shredding technicality, I love “Cynical Entity” for its melodic and almost eerie sound. Next up I will talk about “Cycles of Haruspex”. Lyrically, it is great but it is how the sound of the song most matches the lyrics of the song. The overall “feeling” of the song is superb, featuring a great bass heavy ambience combined with generally great tunes. My only complaint would be the sludge intensive verses, but this can be marked up to personal preference to most. However, I still believe the vocals and riffs could have taken it easier on the verses. Other than that an overall phenomenal song. Finally the album closes “Misery” and then “Odium” which I will talk about together. Both feature great tunes, riffs, beats, and everything, however it is the inclusion of an ambient sound that is much akin to “Parasites” (that is admittedly more prevalent in “Misery”) and just an overall amazing sound and progression on both. I have said this many times so far, but both songs are amazing and both should be listened to.

I will admit, this is undoubtedly one of my longer reviews. However, this album was, in my eyes, a masterpiece and a great piece to show the culmination of AVERSIONS CROWN’s growth as a band. As I also said before, Deathcore is in an evolving state where many bands are incorporating many new elements. AVERSIONS CROWN did it masterfully and their incredible blend of atmosphere and technicality makes this album undoubtedly one of my top albums for 2017, and almost certainly one of my new favorite albums. The few faults I have with the album are nit-picks really. I must also give props to both Mark Poida and Jayden Mason for their vocals and drumwork on the album, both of which I thought were superb. I will wrap this up however as I have gone on quite a bit. In sum, an amazing album that I would highly suggest to anyone who even remotely likes anything in this area of death metal, and that is not even exclusive to deathcore. I just hope that they tour anywhere near me as soon as possible.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Void
2. Prismatic Abyss
3. The Soulless Acolyte
4. Hybridization
5. Erebus
6. Ophiophagy
7. The Oracles of Existence
8. Cynical Entity
9. Stillborn Existence
10. Cycles of Haruspex
11. Misery
12. Odium
Lineup:
Mark Poida - Vocals
Chris Cougan - Guitar
Jayden Mason - Drums
Kevin Butler - Guitar
Steve - Bass
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records
     


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Edited 05 June 2020
 

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