Aversions Crown are keeping up the time-honored tradition of Australian metal bands doing what they do best: playing stupidly heavy music that makes you want to commit heinous acts of violence in the mosh pit. They’ve been doing this since their debut album Servitude, which showed the bands deft ability to play technical deathcore with a whopping three guitarists. After that, the band signed to Nuclear Blast and released Tyrant, which lowered the technicality of the instrumentals but added in a bit of experimentation with the atmosphere of the music. Their third and newest LP Xenocide sees the group settling into a healthy medium between the sounds their two previous albums established and refines them into a sound that the band could very easily settle into.
Xenocide doesn’t fall prey to the trap that Tyrant did, which was focusing a bit too much on chugging along and supplementing with the layers of atmosphere (usually created by guitar) or some songs being riff salads, but instead has at least a few interesting riffs/leads in a song without being too flashy before it becomes a slew of quaking chugs. Some examples of this are the crushing “Hybridization” “Cynical Entity” and “Odium”. The atmospheric elements from Tyrant are also improved upon here, with some tracks having distorted and manipulated sound clips/sound effects at the ends/beginnings, and the quieter guitar parts behind riffs/breakdowns feel a bit more textured. The album intro “Void” is a great way to hear that improvement first hand in a full track and does the job of getting you ready for the hulking menace you face as you listen.
As far as individual performances that should be looked out for, pay attention to the vocal and drum performances because they’re both impressive and dynamic. The drums on this album are pretty reliable for making you go “Hey, that was pretty neat right there.” The vocals are the same, though I would say the drums strong suit is how consistent they are and the vocals strong suit is how varied they are. This album is actually pretty great for going back and listening to a couple of times. Upon first listen, this album is a solid deathcore release that will be pretty well received within its community. Upon another, you start to really pay attention to the vocal and drum performances on a technical level. Upon another listen you start to really pay attention to how the in-your-face mix obfuscates these atmospheric guitar parts that are the velvet background to the blistering and brutish breakdowns and lyrics about aliens. The best part about the depth on this album is that it’s optional. You never really have to look or listen for these things if you don’t want to, but they’re there for the listener to explore and enjoy at their leisure.
Do the band reinvent the wheel with Xenocide? No they don’t, but what they do is use the wheel efficiently for its purpose and then beat you over the head with it. This is a deathcore album made better by the fact that you can replay it and hear new, interesting things within the shell of something that seems so straightforward. This album sees the band hitting their stride and establishing what will more than likely be their core sound that they add to and subtract from in the future. Watch out Thy Art Is Murder, Aversions Crown are coming for your throne.