Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN - 15/4
Written by: MAK on 15/02/2017 13:40:51
It wasn’t long ago that I mentioned about a deathcore resurgence, and since that time, the genre’s leaders Suicide Silence have decided to switch from their brutal stance to alternative metal. Fellow Nuclear Blast act Aversions Crown could very well hope to take their place at the top of the pecking order in deathcore someday, with the Australians now unveil their third album, “Xenocide” — a pummelling blend of mechanised brutality and haunting atmospherics utilising three guitarists, each brandishing an 8-string guitar.
“Xenocide” starts out as typically dark as anyone could expect with “Void” — a title as ominous as the ambient sounds that tease your ears as an intro to the album. Drum patterns slowly get louder and somewhat dramatic, building into the punch in the face that is “Prismatic Abyss”. Soon we are met with gut-churning blast beats and the deepest of roars from vocalist Mark Poida, who makes his album début with the band. Layered on top of this monstrous noise are the high paced guitar licks and technical melodies, and all of it combined makes an intense impact right from the start. The problem therein lays with what follows, as the next couple of songs just merge into one another and are quite forgettable. Each track comes in with the same level of intense brutality that the opener unleashes, and throughout the album, we hear shifts in the vocal style from deep growls to savage screeches. The music is signature deathcore, and comparing it to some of the best albums in the genre, the brutality and crushing side of Aversions Crown is equally as impressive as, say, Suicide Silence and All Shall Perish.
It’s not until the fifth track, “Erebus”, that my attention is truly grabbed again. The melodies are pushed to the forefront of the song, taking away the initial focus on brutality — instead, you are listening to the impressive fretwork of the guitarists. The verse is as high tempo as every other track, but the chorus slows down and hooks you in with epically uplifting melodies. “Ophiophagy” continues to mix things up by adding in some ‘djent’-like rhythms before launching back into the sinister atmosphere that dominated the opening stages of the album. Aversions Crown save their best work for last, with “Odium” combining nasty intensity with beautifully melodic hooks and technically impressive guitar work. It creates the epic ending the album desperately needed.
This is not a diverse album, mind you; “Xenocide” is unapologetically an all-out deathcore record mixed with some modern metal influences. The mood stays ferocious and barely shifts from the tone that “Prismatic Abyss” sets. Individually these are impressive songs that do their job of creating a sense of dread and being sinister pieces of music. But as an album, it falls flat of being anything more than background noise for the most part. Only a couple tracks stand out from the rest, which is a shame, as it started with such promise.
Download: Prismatic Abyss, Erebus, Odium
For the fans of: old-Suicide Silence, All Shall Perish, Thy Art Is Murder
Release date 20.01.2017
Nuclear Blast Records