Precious few real hooks

Fearsomely heavy Brisbane five piece Aversions Crown is another local act taking a dip in the crowded waters of technical deathcore.

The CD certainly looks good, coming in a cardboard slip case and not exactly giving the game away about the band’s genre. It’s great to see even small bands putting so much time and effort into the presentation of their physical releases these days when so many people just end up ripping stuff off from download sites.

The first thing you notice about Servitude is how heavy it is. Downtuned eight-string guitars are nothing new – Meshuggah was doing this back when these dudes were probably still listening to the Wiggles – but coupled with Colin Jeffs’ concrete larynx there’s an epic, rumbling heaviness to this album that can’t be denied. To their credit, the band has concentrated on aspects like mountains of groove rather than an over-abundance of sweep picking, but, ultimately Servitude has precious few real hooks. While it would be simply churlish to suggest that the songs are without variation, there isn’t enough here to make any of them particularly memorable. “Repurposed:Reprogrammed” is fairly catchy and on “Partisan Deconstruction” they speed up nicely beyond the chuggy mid-pace of earlier tracks, only for “We’re Not Safe” to sound almost exactly the same. “Praetorian” has echoes of Morbid Angel here and there, and “Solace” is the obligatory mid-album clean-guitar instrumental that everyone from Northlane to Ringworm included on their releases last year.

For a first-up full length effort, Servitude is ok. The band doesn’t drown in cliches but they don’t exactly avoid them either. They haven’t let themselves fall into the technicality-for-technicality’s-sake trap though, but to go further Aversions Crown is going to have to write catchier, more memorable songs: I listened to this four times before reviewing it and barely remembered any of it after it finished each time. Packaging alone won’t discourage the freeloaders if the material itself is this bland.

1. No Salvation
2. Excoriate
3. Imperfect Design
4. Hive Mind
5. Repurposed:Redesigned
6. Solace
7. Partisan Deconstruction
8. We’re Not Safe
9. Defiler
10. Praetorian
11. Advocator of Man’s Genocide