Nuclear Blast Records/Universal Music Australia
Reviewed By Chris Gibbs
After signing a deal with Nuclear Blast Records and releasing their 2014 sophomore effort, Tyrant, Brisbane’s Aversions Crown suffered an unfortunate bout of inner turbulence. Original vocalist Colin Jeffs (now fronting Tongues) was unable to tour Europe in early 2015 due to vocal problems, and subsequently made the announcement to leave Aversions Crown permanently not long after for personal reasons. Colin was quickly replaced on tour by Mark Poida, formerly of Melbourne deathcore crew I, Valiance. During 2016, both guitarist Hayden Lee and bassist Jay Coombs also exited the band's ranks.
In just two years, Aversions Crown have gone from a sextet to a quartet and one can’t help but wonder how a band rise from such unfortunate falls. The answer, by unleashing the sheer ferocity and viciousness of their all-important third record, Xenocide. These lads have no doubt been lumped with the deathcore tag due to the sound of their debut Servitude and its follow up, Tyrant, but with the release of Xenocide and the progressions in sound and song writing, all of that will surely change.
The guitar work of Mick Jeffery and Chris Cougan has taken on a more mature, sinister, and blackened sound. Think Evangelion era Behemoth crossed with Fallujah guitar atmospherics and melodies. Drummer Jayden Mason is also quite outstanding, with blinding blast beats and double kicks to rival the current greats of the genre. As “Prismatic Abyss” strips you down to your bones and grinds said bones into the finest of particles, you’re left as nothing more than a foul dust on the wind. Aversions Crown sound thicker, tighter, heavier, and more goddamn punishing and brutal than should be classified as legal.
The most impressive aspect however, is the vocal stylings of Mark Poida, producing bowel-shattering low growls to banshee black metal shrieks and screams and all other torturous sounds emanating from some vocal pit of hell, adding a whole new element. While many were no doubt first exposed to Mark in the live environment, the 2015 single “Parasites” and the excellent 2016 single “Erebus” showcased not only Mark’s impressive range but the significant step up in the musical direction and extremity when compared to what I felt was a bit more of a one dimensional approach on Tyrant.
As a whole, Xenocide follows the path displayed on the aforementioned singles even further, while including “Erebus” as a standout song, its sits alongside such brutalities as “The Soulless Acolyte” and “Ophiophagy”. Based on the song titles alone we’re obviously still dealing with alien horrors taking over the world lyrically and yes, expect a breakdown or two. What matters, though, is that Aversions Crown have created a profoundly impressive record and have the potential to break away from a rather stale genre and become a modern day death metal band.
More from Aversions Crown
- Tyrant [review]