'Tyrant' is the offspring of alien invasions and Thy Art Is Murder.
Most deathcore, progressive, death metal bands seem to be fixated on a lot of sci-fi themes. Things such as alien invasions, hostile, omnipotent extraterrestrial beings observing us from above, all-consuming viruses laying waste to Earth, malevolent spiritual possession, metaphysical holographic universes, and the whole human race being absolute filth and just straight up not worthy of your time. That's some really terrifying shit undoubtedly but it's not really relatable on a personal level, well, maybe except for the last one. We all know a special someone who is just utter filth.
Brissy's Aversions Crown are pretty guilty of this sci-fi mash-up (just look at the fucking artwork), but so are a lot of other bands that are making it big at the moment, so they can be easily forgiven because 'Tyrant' is actually pretty good. Produced by Andy Marsh (Thy Art Is Murder) and mixed by Mark Lewis (the same guy who has made bands like Carnifex and Whitechapel sound so ludicrously heavy), the sextet's sophomore album is as heavy as titanium alloy injected with lead additives; and in case you missed that chemistry class in school, that's pretty fucking heavy.
Musically, its very generic for this kind of style, so ready your diddly-hole because blast beats, breakdowns, low tunings, and some very awesome inhuman screams are incoming fast. But it's all super tight and heavy and it's just unrelenting in its sonic punishment. Take, for instance, the massive, earth-shattering breakdowns, which are basically on every fucking song but the one on the 'The Glass Sentient', in particular, is some next level shit. Once it kicks in, the 'twang' of the guitars goes right up to 11 and it becomes just as disgustingly brutal as a German porn set. Furthermore, with enough strings between the band to almost make up a full steel pedal harp, it's no wonder that every riff and chug sounds so bloody HUGE. This is evident across all the ten tracks but mainly on the fantastic opener, 'Hollow Planet' and on the equally impressive closing track, 'Faith Collapsing'. Like the first two Alien movies, these two are arguably the best of the bunch.
Firstly, 'Hollow Planet' because it's basically the template that the whole album follows with its massive grooves, crushing guitars, incredibly precise drumming, and every kind of scream that the human voice can create. And that's the band in a heavy, four and a half minute nutshell as you rarely get anything else from the record. But it's the very first track to assault your ears, and it's arguably the best incarnation of their sound, thus it leaves the longest lasting impression on you.
Secondly, 'Faith Collapsing' because from the word go, Aversions Crown whip out one of their biggest and most crushing songs to date. The scope and depth of this song is equivalent to when David Bowman looked down into the Monolith and saw that it was full of stars at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Up until this point, listening to the full-length is like eating a pretty good, but a rather run-of-the-mill ice cream when suddenly you bite into the sweetest, tastiest part and euphoria completely consumes you like that creepy as fuck doll in The Conjuring and Annabelle. But that's also the problem; it's at the end of the album and there's no more ice cream after that. Yes, you can just put the song on repeat, but you'll still be ignoring the remaining songs in the process, and there's some real gems to be found. Like 'Vectors'.
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The song writing is really solid across the board, but it's on 'Vectors' where the band shines. The clean guitars that play over what is the tightest drum grove you'll hear all year is just brilliant, and once the other leads come in it really is the epitome of the phrase, 'That's fucking sick, mate'. This also stands out because it's one of the very few moments when the band isn't just throwing breakdowns, chugs, and blast beats.
Across 'Tyrant' there are also some nice little breaks from the sonic punishment. 'Xeneforms' ends with a short, but very cool bass riff, one that would some might think would act as a bridge to another breakdown, which thankfully the band has decided against, because that'd be one painfully generic idea! 'Conquer' also does a similar thing in its outro but with the guitars instead, and these are nice, relaxing moments. Albeit, some very short breaks, but their welcomed all the same.
'Tyrant' is heavy, it's brutal, it's crushing, it's tight, but it's pretty generic. It seems that Boris The Blade may have already beat these guys out to the 'Heaviest Album of 2014 Award', but you can't blame this Brisbane band for trying to go big, and then trying to go even bigger again, bless their hearts. If you think there are too many melodic hardcore and metalcore bands taking up Bandcamp and YouTube these days, then you'll get a really nice dose of Austr-Alien metal (get it?) out of these guys. For how long will merely depend on your love of the genre.
1. Hollow Planet
2. The Glass Sentient
5. Earth Sterilizer
9. Faith Collapsing