Review Summary: In a genre defined by an arms race of extremity, Aversions Crown have gone nuclear.
If someone walked up to me in 2011 and told me Aversions Crown would release an exciting and noteworthy album, I’d have asked them to stop trying to make aliencore happen, and that it would be more likely for the entire band to be abducted and replaced by extraterrestrial metal gods.
Imagine my astonishment when Xenocide
dropped. The tin foil hat went on immediately.
To be fair, Aversions Crown have been steadily making serious improvements throughout their career. What started out as a blatant and cheesy attempt to replicate The Faceless’ approach to tech-death down to their lyrical themes has grown to become a formidable band in their own right over the last few releases. Where Servitude
showcased a band almost entirely carried by their (admittedly damned impressive) musicianship, Xenocide picks up where Tyrant
left off, and shows a band truly coming into their own; comfortable enough with their own identity to modulate, but with evident and unreserved respect to their roots.
All in all, Xenocide
is relentlessly unapologetic. The album as a whole is clearly evident of a band that simply couldn’t summon a single bother for their detractors. As is invariably the case with deathcore/tech-death, the flagrant worship of heavy, fast, and loud permeates every moment. The trademark technicality that first brought them attention remains, but tempered now by a sense of taste. Deliberately crafted melodies overlay frenetic polyrhythms, punctuated all the while by an impressive vocal performance.
And it’s not even entirely about aliens. While they feel a little pretentious at times, the vocals showcase lyricism and composition skills that are just different enough from the genre average to keep interest. Add in every instrument performed with an apparent disdain for subtlety, and you have a veritable onslaught in album form.
Rather than make concessions for mainstream sensibilities as other bands have done, Aversions Crown have chosen to dig in their heels. As a result, it finds them holding quite strictly to the mainstays of their genre. You might not anticipate every note, but from the first song, the listener has a fairly accurate expectation laid out for them, for better or worse. Rather than try to break outside the box, Aversions Crown instead elects to fill it to bursting.