Artist: Aversions Crown
Album: Hell Will Come for Us All
The year started with a pandemic, a stock market crash and economic recession, evolved into the nationwide-turned-global manifestation of decades of American racial strife and stands to morph into several possible rumored threats: a second wave of the aforementioned pandemic, enormous volcanic eruption, a solar flare, maybe aliens? While it sounds like a fiction movie or a prophecy for the year 2112, it’s actually now, the year 2020. Wild, huh? To top it off, Australian deathcore outfit Aversions Crown might have called it all with the early announcement of their latest full length record Hell Will Come for Us All. While that might be an exaggeration, much of the band’s much-anticipated record touches on lyrical themes incredibly relevant to the increasing turmoil abundant in our country and the world at large—a bold change in topic from their previous lyrical focuses on the extraterrestrial. Hell Will Come for Us All is a marked departure from the Aversions Crown we knew, abandoning many of the band’s overtly technical roots have been replaced with a more straightforward infusion of raw, hard-hitting metallic influence, shifting gears to fall more in line with current deathcore giants Thy Art is Murder and Fit For an Autopsy. How well does this work out for them, however? The answer isn’t necessarily as straightforward as “good” or “bad” as we take a closer look into the near-hour of immolating aggression that defines Aversions Crown’s 2020 release.
Aversions Crown has long been a band on the forefront of the (admittedly mildly cringy) “aliencore” phenomenon that took root in the technical corner of deathcore’s octagon. Hell Will Come for Us All—while still apt at showcasing the band’s technical prowess—is far from a tech-deathcore record of the sort that one has come to expect from the Aussie quartet. Percussionist Jaden Mason still dominates with lightning-like hands and flashy footwork on many tracks, putting them in sharp contrast to some of the record’s more atmospheric cuts. “Born in the Gutter” and “Caught in the System” are two excellent examples of the former, with Mason’s feet and hands roaring at what feels like a hundred miles per hour (the kilometers per hour conversion is on you). Meanwhile, somber record opener “The Soil,” as well as “Hymn of Annihilation” showcase the band’s more atmospheric element with Mason’s strong, punctual drumming setting a strong scaffold for guitarists Chris Cougan and Mick Jeffery. Cougan and Jeffery take Aversions Crown’s nigh-renowned furious fretwork and change things up a little bit, stepping back from lightning-fast licks and moving to heavy, thick grooves that segue into harsh, metallic riffs and murderously heavy breakdowns hither and to. “Born in the Gutter” is an excellent example of this, as is “Sorrow Never Sleeps” and the album’s titular track. Cougan and Jeffery add depth and dynamic to Aversions Crown, making songs less about hypertechnical leads over breakneck drumming and more about catchy, riff-infused deathcore. “The Soil,” however, sees Averisons Crown experimenting with atmosphere and a sense of smothering, dense gloom. While this opens the band’s range of appeal, it also feels somewhat canned, as the band’s momentum doesn’t really seem to pick up speed until “Caught in the System.” While the shift in the band’s overall sound isn’t inherently bad, it introduces monotony into Aversions Crown’s dynamic for the first time ever, forcing much of the album to blur together with only key memorable segments in several songs instead of overall memorable songs.
Another notable element to Aversions Crown’s Hell Will Come for Us All is the appearance of newcomer Tyler Miller behind the microphone. Miller brings about a different side to the band’s vocal elements—clear, enunciated vocals with a metric ton of beef to back up a fairly diverse range of tones. From the get-go of “The Soil,” Miller’s bold mid-range screams sucker punch the listener’s eardrums relentlessly. “Caught In the System” highlights Miller’s wordplay and patterning where “Hymn of Annihilation” and “Sorrow Never Sleeps” see Miller’s range getting a relative workout. Overall, Miller’s voice plays to the shift in the band’s overall dynamic, giving punch to the bold leads and punchy, catchy breakdowns. However, where Miller’s pronunciation is clear, his range feels throttled by the more moderate display of deathcore that serves as his canvas. While this strengthens the band’s sound, it leaves the listener in want of more variety.
So, what we have on Hell Will Come for Us All is a new Aversions Crown—an Aversions Crown that, in all honesty, could well have been mistaken for Fit for an Autopsy if the listener was blindfolded. While it’s a solid, well-composed piece of deathcore, it doesn’t feel tremendously unique. What’s more is that while it does do an excellent job of branching out lyrically, discussing pertinent topics in today’s world and socioeconomic sphere, it feels somewhat disingenuous compared to how compelling and engaging the band’s discography has been to this point. In short, the record isn’t bad, but their dynamic needs some extra attention to become something that stands strong on it’s own and feels truly unique. This leaves Aversions Crown at a fork in road—to continue honing and sharpening their newfound sound to make it truly stand out, or to revert to what has worked well for them for practically a decade—one can only hope a decision is made and acted upon before Hell comes for Aversions Crown.
For Fans Of: Thy Art is Murder, I, Valiance, Fit For an Autopsy, Whitechapel, Slaughter to Prevail
By: Connor Welsh