Aversions Crown – “Xenocide” (Nuclear Blast)
Screaming deathcore from Down Under! Like the gonzo space monster bringing cataclysmic planetary destruction depicted on their richly colourful album cover, Aversions Crown are indeed a fearsome blast beast, albeit with an exotic mane of suave melodies and sophisticated arrangements. Formed in 2010, the band have endured line up changes with only guitarist Chris Cougan and drummer Jayden Mason remaining from the early days. Still, it matters little as the addition of Mick Jeffery on guitar along the way and more recently vocalist Mark Poida have made the difference here, culminating in the band’s best release to date. Although the beginning and ending of “Xenocide” isn’t particularly standout, it’s the stuff in the middle like ‘Erebus’, ‘Ophiophagy’ and ‘The Oracles of Existence’ that really had me salivating. Propelled by Mason’s nuclear drumming along with his commendable technicality, Poida displays an equally breathtaking range of vocal styles from raw screamo to pig squeals and guttural roaring, each intelligently chosen for the right moment during each track. Once delivered through a 3 pronged guitar attack, the dual axes of Cougan and Jeffery are now clearly working overtime, but do they trade off one another superbly – like I said, the arrangements here are nothing short of brilliant! What really captures the moment for “Xenocide” are the blinding melodies, some dark with others being soulful and in some cases ethereal, but all rich and catchy and adding their weight to the 12 tracks here. Moreover, the band’s unashamed use of ambient pieces here n there builds the atmosphere in the material, adding to the ominous theme of alien invasion as favored by the band’s sci-fi influences on this quality 3rd album. If there is a future for the deathcore genre, then surely “Xenocide” must be one possibility.