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So. AoAA. Started off as a br00t4l deathcore band and released a terrible EP that had potential. They capitalised on this potential and made a fun little album full of breakdowns, pig squeals and gang shouts. Then they decided to "mature" and make straightforward death metal a la Job For A Cowboy. The latter, titled "II: The Reign of Darkness" was well received by critics and metalheads alike. History lesson over.
As a fan of both full-lengths, I was excited when I heard about them making an EP. When I first heard Stage Breaker, my jaw dropped. It started off with your typical breakdown taken directly from an Emmure album (Any of them. They all the sound the same). Nonetheless, they assured me and everyone else who was disappointed that it was the least breakdown-oriented track, so I remained excited, albeit, not as much. When I finally got the whole thing, I was shocked, in the bad way.
This is ultra cliched boring as fuck deathcore. The EP begins with Buried In A Bad Rep. It trundles along at snail pace. The much despised inhaled slurping from the very first EP is back, albeit not used quite as much as on that release. The main vocal style here is hardcore shouting. That's right. Regan now sounds like Jamey Jasta on a 20 a day habit. Halfway through, we are treated to a gang shout. "So suck my fucking dick". How nice.
The rest of the EP is much of the same. Reznov (which I believe is named after a Call of Duty character) features generic deathcore buildup4abreakdown structure, Dark Days is some kind of attempt at a sludgy track, but it fails so miserably and Stage Breaker only consists of breakdowns and lyrics about how much Regan hates the world.
AoAA don't help their case by being so butthurt about the bad reviews. Claiming not to have enjoyed the death metal scene and much preferred the hXc-dancing br00t4l kiddie scene, it seems they're trying too hard to fit in with different crowds. What's next? Trying to appeal to the NME crowd and going indie? The end result is "Disappointment of the Year 2011". Absolute shit.