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Aversions Crown - "Xenocide" (CD)

Aversions Crown - "Xenocide" CD cover image

"Xenocide" track listing:

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

Reviewed by on January 19, 2017

"...'Xenocide' never lets up on the brutality, and if you love chugging, breakdown-focosued deathcore like Carnifex or Whitechpael, then Aversions Crown should be your next obsession."

Another absolutely crushing Aussie band, Aversions Crown was scooped up by Nuclear Blast for the release of the sci-fi themed “Xenocide.” Listening through, you'll notice a whole lot of similarities if you are a fan of fellow Nuclear Blast alumni Carnifex, as this is deathcore of a very similar style, swinging back and forth between blistering fast segments to slow breakdowns and utilizing a variety of extreme vocal styles.

Weirdly, the band has no official presence on Metal-Archives, which seems odd and makes me wonder if its one of those bizarre hard lines the admins there periodically take against anything with a -core element, even if its indisputably extreme metal. Make no mistake there: “Xenocide” is absolutely brutal to the maximum from beginning to end, with some killer cover artwork to match that sound.

Across this breakdown-laden offering are deep death growls, raspy higher register screams, some semi-pig squeals, rapid fire drumming, and unexpected melody in the guitar work. Most of this blends exceedingly well, although I wasn't too keen on some of the filtered deeper death grunting, which become too guttural to really tell a story effectively and seem to work at cross purposes to the more interesting and thematically appropriate guitar work.

For all the full-force death metal bludgeoning going on, there clearly is a sci-fi story at play, and it comes out in flourishes like the odd spacey sound effects starting “Erebus,” which has a much more epic feel than you'd typically get from deathcore. “Cynical Entity” meanwhile starts with an effect where the sound switches from the left to right speaker repeatedly at a lower volume before coming together for the normal full volume, dual-speaker experience. That little maneuver seriously freaked me out the first time as I honestly thought my headphones were giving out a death rattle.

Remember how I mentioned the strong similarity to Carnfiex? That's the only other downside: there are some sub-genre copy/paste issues here. While I dig the guitar tones going on in the background of “Stillborn Existence,” this track in particular feels like its filling out a pre-built musical structure, checking off boxes for what a standard crushing deathcore song should sound like. That song is also filled to the brim with the overly guttural grunt/squeals that sort of just become noise after awhile.

Thankfully next track “Cycles of Haruspex” shakes it up with two different sounds going at the same time, one a lighting fast blast beating, the other an atmospheric and melodic guitar riff, and it works really well juxtaposed together. While the beginning of “Misery” is again way too close to the standard deathcore sound for its own good, about 40 seconds in it goes crazy with a creepy guitar riff in the background that can suck the audience back into the horrific alien vibe.

Although a mixed bag on some fronts, “Xenocide” never lets up on the brutality, and if you love chugging, breakdown-focosued deathcore like Carnifex or Whitechpael, then Aversions Crown should be your next obsession.

Highs: This is about as brutal as deathcore gets.

Lows: Some of the vocals don't quite match the style, and a few songs stick too close to a standard deathcore style.

Bottom line: Love the chugga, chugga, breakdown? You want to hear this.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)