By ANDREW McKAYSMITH
Brisbane deathcore maestro’s Aversions Crown have forged a reputation for top-shelf live shows and critically acclaimed recorded output over the last few years. As they are one of only a handful of Australian artists signed to international metal label Nuclear Blast, HM was feeling just a tad patriotic when talking to vocalist Mark Poida over the phone one evening. That patriotism has nothing to do with flags and international sporting accomplishments. In what HM will reasonably describe as one of the very best extreme metal releases of the past 10 years from anywhere, new album Xenocide is potentially the best Australian extreme metal release for a generation.
In response to HM’s gushing praise of the album, especially in light of the fact the band have only recently been discovered by the interviewer, Poida offers a gracious and all-too-modest tip of the hat.
He said: “Thanks for the kind words. It’s cool to know that you hadn’t heard of us before and you just randomly picked up on the album, had a listen and actually liked it. It’s things like that that makes me realise that we’re doing the right sort of stuff.”
The right stuff indeed. Ranging from the djent-inspired riffed Morse code of Meshuggah, the eastern mysticism meets crushing death metal of Morbid Angel and Nile, to the EDM madness of Skrillex, Aversions Crown manage to blend the best elements of the mentioned artists into a perfectly executed slab of deathcore. Is the album the album the definitive metal statement for 2017?
“It’s definitely a more metal sort of album and we take a lot of influences into the writing process like Nile, so it’s a very sort of Egyptian feeling. Funny how you mention Skrillex, most of the people in the band are all actually into electronic music as well. We love adding the atmosphere that those sort of artists have. Especially bands like Pendulum, they have good build up and they are very atmospheric.”
HM describes the band as carrying the DNA of the track Destructos vs The Earth Attack from the critically underrated Morbid Angel album Illud Divinum Insanus (’11)
“Cheers man, it’s great to be mentioned next to such a great band. Morbid Angel are such a massive band, and to each of the members of Aversions Crown they have been an inspiration in one way or another.”
The album cover carries an especially malevolent image of a Marvel worthy, skull belt adorning otherworldly being (Predator?), is there a theme to Xenocide?
“Yes, there is actually a concept behind it. A big series from the first track to the final one. The theme to Aversion has kind of really been about Alien and extra-terrestrials.
“And this time round we decided to instead of always focusing on why they’ve come to earth to meet humans and they might even have come to destroy humans we’ve decided to write from the alien perspective and take a look into their world and experience what it’s like to be an alien. And it kind of seems that why humanity was created by aliens and why they decided it was a bad idea.”
Sounds as though Poida may have a view on all things conspiracy related, so what’s his thoughts on WikiLeaks?
“As far as WikiLeaks I think that is actually a great thing. I think it is something that should be released and I don’t think leaders should be having secrets. And I think it kind of sucks for the people that have been punished for doing the right thing and moral sense. They were just being a being a good citizen.”
Pity then that we have to wait for an alternative source of classified files to prove the existence of aliens…!
So the band joins Mortification, Pegazus and Thy Art is Murder as Australian bands that have been signed to Nuclear Blast. It sounds as though the label found them rather the usual management pitch to label executive or A&R manager.
“They just started a search online and then sent the band an email saying we will release your music, and on one of our European tours we met with them and had a chat about everything. They decided that they wanted to sign us and back us as a band and that is how it’s kind of been for a while now. It’s awesome because it’s such a good label and family to have behind your band. They are always offering very good opportunities that we wouldn’t get. We are really thankful to be one of the bands that got signed, and being from Australia because it’s such a big international label.”
Was there a moment when the band thought “we could build a career out of this”?
“I think maybe the first time we went to Europe and it’s just like well we’re going overseas, that’s being taken serious and the label really backed us. I think that was the turning point. To know there is actually demand for us outside of Australia and that you can leave your own country for months at a time just playing music to people. That really don’t see you, their on the other part of the planet.
“I think that for me, when you get out onstage in a completely foreign country. That they don’t even speak the same language as you and there is a massive crowd us waiting to see you. It’s insane!”
HM can’t recommend the new album Xenocide highly enough if you get into your extreme metal!
Released January 20 via Nuclear Blast