For Fans Of
Let me make this clear: I don’t like deathcore. Wait, no, that’s dumb. Let me try that again. I don’t like this current era of deathcore. While the genre was never all that great or even one of my personal favourites, there was always the occasional record that I’d gravitate towards. Album’s like Thy Art Is Murder’s ‘Holy War,’ Fit For An Autopsy’s ‘Hellbound,’ or even Angelmaker’s ‘Dissentient’; albums that remind me that this genre could produce greatness. Though over the last several years or so, it just seems as if those records have become fewer and further in between. Nowadays, it seems as if deathcore has just become one big game of “who can copy Lorna Shore the best” with an onslaught of Dickie Allen copycat vocalists. And because I find neither of these bands to be particularly appealing, this has caused me to pretty much roll my eyes at every single recent trendy deathcore album.
However, Aversions Crown have always stood out to me. While they were never a personal go-to, I did find myself enjoying 2017’s ‘Xenocide’ quite a bit, with songs like ‘Ophiophagy’ and ‘Erebus’ rotating into my playlists every now and then. They presented a sound that wasn’t shockingly new, but it was a sound that was done extremely well, especially because of their former vocalist, the demonic lungs of Mark Poida. So when Poida left the band last year after already being absent for quite some time, I was left wondering if this band would still remain consistent in their quality. Now it seems that the band intends to answer that very question with their brand new 2020 full-length. ‘Hell Will Come For Us All,’ which features new vocalist Tyler Miller.
Honestly, ‘Hell Will Come For Us All’ isn’t a unique deathcore album. At all. There is nothing here that will make you say “damn, that’s different” or “oh they’ve never done that before.” However, that’s not really what Aversions Crown were setting out to do with this new album, and I also don’t think that an album being generic necessarily makes it bad. ‘Hell Will Come For Us All’ is nothing new, yes, but I’d be lying if I said this album wasn’t a fuckin’ blast to listen to. This record is a blazing, stomping deathcore rager that maintains brisk energy throughout, also not overstaying its welcome, sitting at a neat and tidy nine songs. It’s also crushingly heavy, and groovy as all hell.
‘Born In The Gutter’ is a great beacon of what is to come on this album: urgent, meticulous guitar work driving a tug of war between blistering uptempo sections and groove-laden doomy builds that hardly give you a second to breathe. ‘Caught In The System,’ a personal top pick of the lot, showcases beat-down influenced slams intertwining with energetic riffy bursts to create a spacey, devastating cut that I think will leave many speechless. It’s in these moments of high energy, hell-fire grooves that ‘Hell Will Come For Us All’ is at its absolute best, featuring quite a few of the Australian band’s best songs to date.
Tyler Miller also proves here that, while different style-wise from his predecessor, he has much to offer this band. He’s filling the shoes of Poida but without trying to be a ring-in for the former vocalist. Miller is doing his own thing for the band, even though his vocals are very remiss of CJ McMahon or Joe Badolato. See, Miller’s main strength isn’t shrill highs or booming gutturals but is instead in his fantastic delivery of certain lines and well-balanced moments throughout the LP. This is especially apparent towards the tail end of album highlight, ‘Hymn of Annihilation,’ which features the finest breakdown of the band’s entire career. Miller builds tension with a speech-like vocal passage, before erupting into a blazing roar that transitions the song into its finale. The very melo-death album closer ‘The Final Judgement’ also showcases Tyler’s talents, featuring some pitched screams to add to the desolate and apocalyptic atmosphere.
Tone and atmosphere is everything on ‘Hell Will Come For Us All,’ and is a big reason why this record succeeds as well as it does. This is especially apparent on the penultimate track, ‘Sorrow Never Sleeps,’ which I am sure will become a fan favourite come the album’s big release. It’s filled to the brim with dark melodies, evil harmonies, and even bleak synthesizers, all working together to form a concoction of death, dread and doom. Elsewhere, the reverb-drenched, dissonant harmonising leads of the massive titular track create an uneasy mood, remaining unrelenting until the track’s final ring out. These moments are found throughout, helping to create a more interesting listen overall. They are beautiful and awe-inspiring, yet bleak and hopeless. This stark tone colour contrast creates an atmosphere that is downright unsettling at times, imbuing ‘Hell Will Come For Us All‘ with real power.
However, there are some aspects that also hold Aversions Crown’s latest back for me. For one, even though this is a short nine tracks, the track-list features the odd dud. ‘The Soil’ is potentially the worst song off of the entire album, with its bland and forgettable guitar work, and spot-on Joe Badolato vocal impressions that don’t add much to the song itself. It starts an otherwise great record off on a rather understated note, and I can’t begin to wonder why it was chosen as the record’s first lead single. Put your best foot forward, but ‘The Soil‘ is anything but. Perhaps that’s why there’s been some real disappointment from the fans before this LP is even fully out. Only a short distance up in the track listing, ‘Paradigm’ falls flat for similar reasons. There’s just simply nothing of note happening in this extremely monotonous track, and it also doesn’t go anywhere. Later on, ‘Scourge of Violence’ falls victim to these exact same issues, albeit it still is much more enjoyable than the other pair.
Yet the biggest issue with ‘Hell Will Come For Us All’ is the remarkably similar song structures found on almost every goddamn song. I shit you not, the first seven songs on this thing follow nearly the exact same formula; ominous, atmospheric intro, fast and energetic middle, then a big and slow breakdown with atmospherics sitting behind the walls of drums and guitars. While it works for some of the songs that I mentioned earlier, it also gets stale quite quickly. Aversions Crown don’t change anything up at all until the final two tracks, which go in a more melodic death metal route that’s fairly refreshing. Given their experience and instrumental proficiency, it doesn’t seem like it would have been all that difficult for Aversions to throw in some curve balls into the records Side-A, instead of writing practically the same thing over and over again. We already have enough of that in deathcore these days!
Despite a couple of small issues regarding one-note songwriting, ‘Hell Will Come For Us All’ proves itself to be a rare gem in an incredibly stagnant genre. It’s still an enjoyable and fun extreme metal listen, and it doesn’t lose an ounce of energy throughout its run time. If you like fast and heavy, this album is sure to do it for you. It has all that one could want out of a deathcore album and is sure to make all the breakdown bro’s out there very happy. However, fans need to know that this is not the same Aversions Crown that they knew four years ago, at least not vocally. Mark Poida is gone, for better or for worse, and that is reflected in the band’s songwriting too. Though, as far as replacements go, I’d say Tyler Miller does a great job of bringing something new to this Aussie band’s table, instead of just trying to imitate what Poida did. Personally, I’d even go as far as to say this is probably my favourite Aversions Crown release (even though I was never a huge fan of their work in the first place.) Grains of salt, and all that. Though one thing is for sure: at least we finally have a good deathcore album in 2020 to consume.
Born In The Gutter
Caught In The System
Hell Will Come For Us All
Scourge of Violence
Hymn of Annihilation
Sorrow Never Sleeps
The Final Judgement
‘Hell Will Come For Us All’ is out Friday, June 12th.