We study anisotropic quantum spin chains in an aperiodic magnetic field hn = λ cos(2φσnv); for 0 < v < 1. For v equal to unity and σ equal to the golden mean, the system is quasiperiodic. In the isotropic limit, the incommensurate behaviour is described by the Harper equation exhibiting the metal-insulator transition whereas in the anisotropic case a new fat critical phase is observed between the extended and localized phases. For v different from unity, the global extended phase of the quasiperiodic anisotropic model is replaced by the metal-insulator transition with mobility edges. The mobility edge corresponding to the isotropic model exhibits a novel intermittency. In addition, a new mobility edge with no analog in the isotropic model appears at energy corresponding to the spin space anisotropy g. Instead of the fat critical phase of the quasiperiodic model we now observe a phase which is localized everywhere except at the energy equal to g. There is no localization-delocalization transition in this case. Various high precision numerical tools suggest the existence of critical states at the onset of metal-insulator transition, along the line where the energy is equal to g as well as at the conformally invariant point. We conjecture that the existence of critical states at a conformal point is a universal phenomenon for all aperiodic potentials.