Saint Asonia
Saint Asonia


4.0
excellent

Review

by Shamus248 USER (76 Reviews)
July 31st, 2015 | 35 replies


Release Date: 07/31/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: In his first major project since his controversial departure from Three Days Grace, Adam Gontier brings back the angst and aggression that made him a household name.

If you've heard this band's name in the last few months, you'll know Saint Asonia is a rock supergroup fronted by Adam Gontier, the man behind the infamous split between himself and Canadian hard rockers Three Days Grace in January 2013. While the latter went forward with My Darkest Days singer Matt Walst, the former laid low and remained out of the news. What little solo material Gontier put out in 2013 was just not nearly as appealing and compelling as his work with Three Days Grace. Perhaps this serves reason why he waited until now to resurface with Saint Asonia. Either way you slice it, Gontier's return to prominence on rock radio was well worth the wait.

Featuring Mike Mushok, the guitarist from Staind, Rich Beddoe, the drummer from Finger Eleven and Corey Lowery from Eye Empire, Saint Asonia isn't just a supergroup that's going to play some charity events and then call it a career. On quite the contrary, this group is a serious project and could remain a fixture on the airwaves for years to come.

Saint Asonia released four tracks in preparation for this record's release. The debut single "Better Place", as evidenced by its top 10 success on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart, listeners responded well. The next three songs released as promotional tracks ("Blow Me Wide Open", "Let Me Live My Life", "Fairy Tale") all share a common theme with "Better Place." It's just an interpretation, but these tracks could very well be lyrical jabs thrown into the direction of Three Days Grace. In my opinion, at least, they are. Either them are Gontier's ex-wife, who divorced him in 2013. Put that aside, and you're left with the four tracks that open the album. "Better Place" was rightfully chosen as the debut single. It's easily the hardest and most up-tempo rocker on the record, and is a fitting way to reintroduce Gontier to the spotlight. Lyrically, Gontier definitely has an axe to grind with someone ("I don't owe you anything/And you don't own me/I will not forget.") Instrumentally speaking, the track is more than just a competent radio-friendly rocker. The established personnel manning the guitar, bass and drums are quite adept at complimenting Gontier. It feels somewhat refreshing to be honest, to see new personnel behind Gontier. Especially after years of Barry Stock's guitar solos and Neil Sanderson's backup vocals. Shoutout to both those guys by the way!

Moving on, "Blow Me Wide Open" is another shot fired at you know who ("Why do you wanna be/Forgettable/And so replaceable.") The track opens with distorted guitar work, and to Mike Mushok's credit, he's not only a sound guitarist. He's quite enjoyable to listen to. The bass is audible, something Three Days Grace struggled with early on. The drumming is equally competent as Neil Sanderson's and vice versa. The track doesn't have that wow factor per se. but it definitely gets the point across without being overly abrasive. Aside from the promotional tracks, which we'll discuss again later, we've got some very well executed tracks like "Even Though I Say" and "Dying Slowly." The latter features Gontier uttering the f-word. The first time he's done that in a song since "Gone Forever", which appeared on Three Days Grace's excellent 2006 album "One-X." There's a little fun fact of the day for you. Anyway, the track is very introspective and Gontier asks why is he the way he is. You might think that's analogous to how Three Days Grace beat dead horses lyrically. But while this theme, among others, are very familiar and established, they're executed and performed in a uniquely enough way that you can still enjoy nevertheless.

Other promotional tracks "Fairy Tale" and "Let Me Live My Life" are other tracks in which Gontier urges whoever he's using subtlety to attack, that he wants to be free and branch out on his own. Coincidence" This was one of his primary reasons behind his split from Thre- I'm not even going to say it. "Trying to Catch Up the World" is a great example of how the softer side of Gontier's vocals can shine brightly. It's a near flawless technique for him at this point. But considering his 2013 solo material wasn't appealing, as mentioned, this is a strong return to form, and Gontier deserves credit where credit is due.

This solid and much awaited debut ends with "Happy Tragedy" and "Leaving Minnesota." "Happy Tragedy" opens with a blistering blurry of guitars. A strong up-tempo rocker is just what the doctor ordered, as Gontier again brings a vocal shot of adrenaline to the track. Did we expect anything else from this man" His voice is stronger than ever, and if you're still upset that he left you know who, you now have a new band to enjoy, with a familiar face in the driver's seat. The guitar solo on "Happy Tragedy" is certainly a treat for the ears. It's fast pace is the driving force behind this aggressive rocker. The album closes with "Leaving Minnesota", which certainly feels like it's referencing Gontier's ex-wife. It lyrically opens with ("I wanted to try so hard but/She never wanted to see my face again.") Gontier later reveals ("If you love something/Let it free/And let it fly.") I'm pretty sure I'm paraphrasing as I've only played the track but a pair of times at this point, but nonetheless, the personnel Gontier assembled for Saint Asonia does another great job to compliment him.

All in all, as mentioned, this group and this album, were well worth waiting for. Especially if you were waiting for Gontier to put out serious material in his post-Three Days Grace career, you've now got the treat on your hands that you wanted, as do I. This album will be a great benchmark for what's to come. This group is undoubtedly more than just a supergroup playing some charity shows in the spirit of good, clean fun. Saint Asonia is serious as they come, and with Adam Gontier at the helm, nothing but good things will befall this group in the future.



Recent reviews by this author
Rascal Flatts UnstoppableYellowcard Southern Air
Maren Morris GirlAttila Villain
Send Request PerspectivesKacey Musgraves Golden Hour
user ratings (97)
Chart.
3
good
other reviews of this album
Aeri (3)
Radio rock almost done right....

Toondude (2.5)
The Three Days Grace fan's replacement for Human...

midnightstrike3625 (4.5)
Saint Asonia is a genuine and honest album with a lot to offer to the rock scene. This album hits h...



Comments:Add a Comment 
Cimnele
July 31st 2015


1431 Comments


you repeated the "more than just a supergroup" bit a little

this is pretty illuminating because i assumed radio rock from teh north end of the American continent was something that, as soon as you can find the words to review the stuff, you can also find music dearer to your heart elsewhere. if you really love this stuff then rock on but I might encourage you to check out some of the lists on here and spread your wings a little seeing as you seem to care about music

EvoHavok
July 31st 2015


7680 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Maybe you're focusing a bit too much on lyrics compared to music (you do make many good points, though), but review flows well.

Best Gontier thing after One-X, I was pleasantly surprised. "Better Place" and "Trying to Catch Up with the World" are my favourites.

CalculatingInfinity
July 31st 2015


8870 Comments


"if you really love this stuff then rock on but I might encourage you to check out some of the lists on here and spread your wings a little "

This, seriously.

EvoHavok
July 31st 2015


7680 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Agreed. Just keep loving "this stuff" too instead of starting to bash it after exploring other genres.

CalculatingInfinity
July 31st 2015


8870 Comments


Alt Rock Knight Evo has spoken, heed his words :3

Toondude10
July 31st 2015


13827 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this is probably really bad

Digging: Devin Townsend - Empath

SweeneyTodd
July 31st 2015


2149 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I was pleasantly surprised with the album, beats Human by miles anyway. Review is a bit naff tbh, need to focus less on comparing it to TDG

Toondude10
July 31st 2015


13827 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

listening now



yep, it's a TDG album in disguise

EvoHavok
July 31st 2015


7680 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Proper follow-up to One-X.

Toondude10
July 31st 2015


13827 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

in other words, this album is 8-years too late to really do anything

TooManyFriends
July 31st 2015


3016 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

this is so bad



when did this dude like, forget how to sing? his voice is straight up grating on this album

Toondude10
July 31st 2015


13827 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

sounds like he hasn't changed since he left TDG



it's not "bad" but my god is it boring. zzzzzzzzzzzz

ZachNyeScienceGuy
August 1st 2015


175 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I really liked TDG's debut album back when it first came out and though I mostly attribute why I still like it to nostalgia, I do think it was a well put together radio rock album with some jams. Don't like One X as much but it has some good tracks too. I feel that ever since then, and even during some of One X, Adam's vocals haven't been able to flow properly in any instrumental track he sings on. This isn't any different.



Lyrics feel lazy and forced. Vocals sound uninspired compared to what he's done before. Guitars drums etc. sound like every other aging 2000's hard rock band. It has a couple of decent tracks in Fairy Tale and Let Me Live My Life, but a majority of this is forgettable.



I just can't get over the awkward way he tries to spit out lyrics that don't fit into the rhythm of the songs. It ruins structure and is cringeworthy tbh.

ZachNyeScienceGuy
August 1st 2015


175 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Regarding the review. Watch out for cliched statements. I notice a lot of them here. You also don't ever want to use the words my or I. Pretty much always speak in 3rd person because A. The review should be objective and B. You don't want to change tenses/who is speaking.



Also avoid making mistakes or second guessing yourself. It ruins credibility.



Watch for rambling too. Don't go off topic, or on tangents, too often as both you and the reader tend to lose focus on the topic of the review.



You don't need to put so much exposition into the history of the Songs as well. Some information is purely suplimental and doesn't do anything to get your point across or to convince the reader of anything. Aside from these, the review is structured pretty well.

Bhurke
August 1st 2015


40 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm not sure if I was just excited to hear something from Gontier or not but I quite liked this on first listen... And then unlike what happens most of the time when you replay music, I didn't get into it any more... I actually started to find it kinda boring. Not a bad album at all, but they really need a more distinctive sound.

Digging: Billie Eilish - When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

Toondude10
August 1st 2015


13827 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

yeah there's nothing really awful about this but man I cannot remember a single thing off this

Shiranui
August 1st 2015


551 Comments


bad music > generic music

Toondude10
August 1st 2015


13827 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

^ love the avatar

Shamus248
August 1st 2015


421 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

let me preface this by saying I love the August Burns red pic!



anyway, I think Adam is a great singer. He did great on One-X. He was okay on the first album and Life Starts Now. he was truly awful on Transit of venus. But here he sounds good again. more respectable.

Digging: Yellowcard - Southern Air

Toondude10
August 1st 2015


13827 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

say what you will about gontier, he was the best part of TDG



I don't think he's bad on here, but it's just that he hasn't seemed to change at all since the TDG s/t.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy