Artist: Aversions Crown
It began on a quiet night in the summer of 2010, on a quiet beach along the Gold Coast just south of Brisbane. Cool, waves lapped innocently at the shore; fish swam, animals ran hither and to in the light of an ominously full moon. Suddenly, without warning or explanation, there was a crash—a blinding strobe of light followed by a deafening explosion, shattering the calm of the serene Australian night. A shimmering, pale seed of foreign life rested nestled in a crater of soft sand and sloppy wet mud—for a second, still. As suddenly as it arrived, it began morphing, growing into something chimeric and devilish beyond explanation or imagination. From its subtle inception, it would grow to dominate not just Brisbane, nor Queensland or even the Australian continent—rather, it would grow to dominate the entire world. It is the terrifyingly technical deathcore sextet, Aversions Crown and their sophomore full-length release, Tyrant. Bred to enslave humanity and capture the attention of heavy music fanatics around the world, Tyrant is a truly remarkable release that sees Aversions Crown following through on the promise and potential of Servitude, creating one of the most comprehensively crushing and awe-inspiring technical deathcore releases the world has seen to date.
Before it even finished growing, it began killing—slaughtering animals and men without regard, annihilating any opposition on its path to global domination. Tyrant is an instrumental juggernaut: unthinking, unfeeling, uncaring. From the lacerating salvo of blast beats that begins “Hollow Planet,” to the last haunting echoes of “Faith Collapsing,” Aversions Crown function as well-oiled and monstrously crafted machine hell-bent on murdering the minds of anyone whose ears have the twisted pleasure of encountering Tyrant. Percussionist Jayden Mason is the arrhythmic heart of this cantankerous abomination—capable of attacking the listener with machine gun style blast beats or insanely quick fills one minute, but then easily shifting into plodding, mammoth kick drum-heavy patterns the next. “Conqueror” is one such example of Mason’s mastery—beginning with lightning-quick blasts but rapidly dissolving into a stuttering, pummeling breakdown, it is home to one of the most varied, yet uniformly intense percussive performances Tyrant has to offer. Even at his fastest, Mason is constantly haunted by the ghastly bass grooves of Jay Coombs. Coombs amplifies the intense thud of Mason’s monstrous kick drum with slinking, groovy bass work that both works with the drumming but also manages to stand out on its own. “Avalanche” is a crushing example of this—as Coombs’ bass manages to straddle the empty space between Mason’s simply insane drumming and the stellar fretwork Aversions Crown are known for. What is there to say about the riffs, chugs and grooves of guitarists Chris Cougan, Mick Jeffery and Hayden Lee that hasn’t already been said? From start to finish, Lee, Jeffery and Cougan provide some of the most diverse and devastating guitar work technical deathcore has ever seen. From the looming, over-the-top heaviness at the ends of “Hollow Planet” and “Vectors,” to the ethereal moments of almost-ambient shred that highlight “Overseer,” the trifecta of terrifyingly talented guitarists are simply magnificent. When combined with Coombs’ cutthroat grooves and Mason’s expert percussion, it’s no wonder Tyrant is home to an instrumental onslaught that leaves no survivors.
Quickly, it adapted—fully grown and mobile, it spread its reign of terror to surrounding cities. Brisbane quickly fell under its iron jaws and razor sharp talons. Humans were lifted like grains of worthless rice, floating skywards as if feathers. It was a matter of weeks before Australia was entirely forsaken. Aversions Crown take the same aggression and power that makes their musicianship so immersive and apply it with vigor and voracity to their vocals—thanks to the talented vocal chords of Colin Jeffs, they succeed with ease. I’ll be the first to admit; I don’t care much for lyrics and themes revolving around the extraterrestrial. However, even my skeptical ears fell victim to Tyrant’s incredible lyrical devices and simply perfect vocal approach. Jeffs has a thirst for blood and lust for carnage that is insatiable: bellowing, screeching, shouting and screaming pure terror throughout the album’s entire 42-minute long run time. “Earth Sterliser” sees Jeffs’ most intelligible and fluid vocal style—focusing on a gruff shout that allows the listener to easily comprehend the song’s eerie lyrics. However, “Controller” and “Xenoform” are where Jeffs truly shines—spanning his entire (formidable) range with enormous ease, shredding the listener’s ears with visceral intensity.
Not satisfied with dominion over Australia’s shores, nor slaked with the surreal destruction of New Zealand and the nearby Australasian islands, it set its hunger for carnage and thirst for destruction to bigger, more grandiose sights. China fell like a paper doll—Western Europe and America, for all their technical development and military superiority, were enslaved in weeks. Tyrant is a simply unstoppable album—as infectious as the common cold and as lethal as ebola. Aversions Crown apply their technical prowess and brilliant talent as dynamic songwriters to create songs that are equally intense and crushing, yet all manage to have their own distinct feel and style. The jarring, bizarre ending breakdown to “Hollow Planet” is unlike any other experience on the album—just as the climax to “Xenoform” and the goose bump inducing horror of “Earth Sterliser” are truly standalone moments. With equal brilliance, they manage to mix their technical influences with straightforward deathcore brutality without favoring one over the other. At no point during Tyrant will the listener feel cramped by too-dense technicality or musical wankery, nor will they feel bored by chuggity monotony. Rather, they feel simply scared, as their very existence is threatened by a display of deathcore so masterful it dwarves even Thy Art Is Murder’s Hate.
The ears of all mankind have been shackled and chained by the cruel, bloodcurdling misanthropy that is Aversions Crown. Tyrant is a lesson in technical deathcore—equal parts immersive, intelligent and irresponsibly heavy. No matter how fast you run, or how far away you hide, there is no escaping indentured servitude under the rule of Aversions Crown.
For Fans Of: Thy Art is Murder, Beneath the Wake, Nexilva, Within the Ruins, Rings of Saturn
By: Connor Welsh