Australia’s AVERSIONS CROWN have been rumbling in the underbelly of deathcore for some time now. Throughout the band’s seven year career, their approach to the style has been uncompromising and colossally heavy to match their competitors which has resulted in a surge of popularity in recent months. Keeping to their tradition of releasing a record every three years, 2017 sees the arrival of album number three, Xenocide. As deathcore continues to evolve and bands seek to incorporate new elements to remain fresh, does Xenocide have what it takes to keep AVERSIONS CROWN in the thick of it?
Following a short introductory track in the form of Void which creates an atmosphere of dread, the record roars into life through Prismatic Abyss and instantly, the listener is greeted with ominous guitar tones and a whirlwind of blasts from Jayden Mason‘s drums. Sweeping riffs carry the weight of the track until it culminates to a earth-shattering breakdown where vocalist Mark Poida‘s guttural vocal deliveries truly shine. The aggression on show here is ruthless and relentless and sets the tone for Xenocide.
From there, things continue in a blistering pace. The Soulless Acolyte boasts blistering guitar play from Mick Jeffery and Chris Cougan that will blow you away, complimented with Poida‘s range in high shrieks and low vocal blasts. The technicality of the riff structure on show here is nothing short of impressive, with intricate riffs reigning above the ferocious rhythm. Similarly, the skill and technique at AVERSIONS CROWN‘s disposal is further pushed to the forefront with the tone of the eight string guitars fused with a blistering drumming display from Jayden Mason throughout The Oracles of Existence is so finely balanced that each element drives the speed of its delivery. The technicality on show here is used frequently throughout Xenocide and aligns itself to the area of technical death metal but it isn’t pushed to the forefront, allowing the record to focus on pummelling the listener with such ferocity.
However, for all the ferocity on show, where Xenocide truly shines is the record’s ability to create an overwhelming and ominous sense of dread. Driven by haunting lead guitar play, throughout the record’s duration dread and a haunting atmosphere is pushed to the forefront. From the chilling melodies which are used subtly on Hybridization to the isolated leads in the chorus of Erebus, these moments send chills down the spine. It’s testament to AVERSIONS CROWN‘s technicality that this ever-so important musical characteristic isn’t overused, whilst it in fact compliments the brute force of Xenocide‘s delivery. It’s a hard aspect to balance and get right and here, the band have honed their craft to great effect.
As a unit, AVERSIONS CROWN have steadily refined their sound and Xenocide showcases the best of the band’s ability. The technicality of the riff work from guitarists Chris Cougan and Mick Jeffery and the blistering speed of Jayden Mason‘s drums keeps the momentum spinning rapidly but it is the performance of vocalist Mark Poida that frequently captures your attention. Poida‘s vocal range is absolutely devastating and matches the brute force of the overall sound. From his vicious high-piercing snarls on Ophiophagy to the guttural blasts on Cycles of Haruspex, Poida does a phenomenal job in allowing his vocals to carry the weight of the track, allowing the pacing to ebb and flow in vicious rhythm which keeps Xenocide delivering blow after blow.
Xenocide is a vicious record, one that has crawled out from the depths of hell to wretch it’s ferocious sound. This is a record that holds nothing back, one that is merciless and ruthless in its execution. With it being the band’s third record, it’s clear at this point that AVERSIONS CROWN have mastered their output and Xenocide showcases a band who refined their sound to create a truly destructive listening experience. That, and with a hauntingly chilling atmosphere to compliment the ferocity, Xenocide is a record that will leave nothing but ruins in its path.
Xenocide is set for release on January 20th via Nuclear Blast Records.
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