Saint Asonia
Flawed Design


3.0
good

Review

by Simon STAFF
October 26th, 2019 | 25 replies


Release Date: 10/25/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A solid sophomore album that does what it says on the tin.

The general consensus for Adam Gontier’s departure over at Three Days Grace was nothing short of devastating news for both its fans and the band itself – whether the band care to admit that fact to the public or not. I have a stance with post-Gontier Three Days Grace that sits in between utter indifference and mild enjoyment; I don’t get the fervent hate some people have for Matt Walst’s albums, I actually think Matt has done a pretty good job of holding the band together, all things considered. The problem is that Gontier has such a distinct and enticing voice, it’s understandable why some people would get antsy over Three Days Grace’s central focus packing his bags to pursue new ventures “on his own terms”. However, as I puff on my smoking pipe – dressed in my deerstalker hat and Victorian overcoat – and look through my magnifying glass, it seems his departure from the band couldn’t be anything other than internal politics. The evidence is as clear as day, all you need to do is check out Gontier’s current project to see what I mean. Saint Asonia, and this album in particular, is solid work. I can’t refute the obvious; this is good, wholesome, stadium filling radio-rock, filled with ear-pleasing melodies and some decent guitar work. But let’s not detract from my point, and that point is a big one: Saint Asonia is sonically echoic and bears a striking resemblance to that of Gontier’s original band. Which begs the question on what the point of this band is if not because of politics and disagreements within Three Days Grace?

Regardless, for those chomping at the bit to know, Flawed Design is a better album than anything poor Matt Walst has produced with Three Days Grace thus far, but it isn’t by a landslide and it can’t claim to be a classier piece of work either. It’s also a slightly stronger offering to that of their 2015 debut; a more refined experience with slightly punchier and sharper songwriting. The glaring draw to this type of music is the voice, and Adam gives a really great performance throughout and, mostly, holds your interest until the end. He hits all the beats and manages to deliver big choruses that are setup by verses which fluctuate in quality. The music is the business as usual riffing you’ve come to hear from the likes of Breaking Benjamin and Red a million times over, but as with the more modern stylings of the aforementioned bands, the music is grander in scale: piano, string arrangements and synth are all there to give the chuggy riffs a more dramatic boost. Where Flawed Design gets most of its praises is in the little nuggets that are sprinkled sparsely throughout songs. “Beast” is a prime example of this and starts off as a bog-standard alt-rock-writing 101 arrangement – tanked in the generic melodies and riffs you’ve come to expect for the verses and choruses – but the track begins to find itself for twenty seconds at the interlude, delivering a left-field grinding riff with a really effective melody from Gontier to support it. It’s such a standout moment that leaves you pining for more, and ultimately resulted in me trudging back through its banality again just to get another taste. The album is proportionally balanced with really dull writing but intensely strong ideas that elevate the experience: the strong choruses in “Another Fight”, “Sirens” and “Flawed Design” are inherently supported by these uninteresting verses, thus bringing a tug of war which prevents songs from truly flourishing.

Keeping to the theme of harmonious balance, the cathartic fragments in Flawed Design are there, but then there’s also some really strange moments that range from emotional cringe to bewilderment – ironically stemming from the guest spots on the record. Sharon Den Adel’s performance on “Sirens” is nothing short of cheesy and unnecessary for what the track could have achieved; it’s a strong number that is stained with a potent and sugary power metal melody that lingers for the song’s duration. “The Hunted” is another one, not that the track was ever a standout piece to begin with, but its obscure breakdown, fronted by Sully Erna, does more damage than good and feels so out of place from everything else the song has presented that it makes you wonder why they shoehorned it in there in the first place. My perception of Flawed Design probably reads negatively, but in truth it’s a solid alt-rock album. It nails all of the beats one looks for in this type of music, and for those fans they will find a good portion of enjoyment here. It’s just flummoxing to see Adam Gontier leaving an established brand just to write the exact same music outside of Three Days Grace. This album is perfectly competent, albeit derivative, but has a peppering of some really standout moments as well as some dumbfounding ones. As a fan of Gontier, I can openly say he’s still writing good music, but let’s not kid ourselves into thinking he’s making anything inordinate or different to what Three Days Grace is – or the majority of the bands in this genre for that matter.

FORMAT//EDITIONS: DIGITAL/̶/̶C̶D̶/̶/̶V̶I̶N̶Y̶L̶/̶/̶V̶A̶R̶I̶O̶U̶S̶ ̶B̶U̶N̶D̶L̶E̶S̶

PACKAGING: N/A

SPECIAL EDITION BONUSES: N/A

ALBUM STREAM//PURCHASE: https://saintasonia.merchnow.com/



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user ratings (31)
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Aerisavion
October 26th 2019


1797 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Listened to half on the way to work and so far it’s been pretty average... and that’s really annoying. Really wanted this to be great and a return to form, Gontier always delivers as a vocalist.

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
October 26th 2019


15797 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Musically it’s on autopilot for sure

Digging: Desert Sessions - Volumes 11 and 12

Aerisavion
October 26th 2019


1797 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It’s mixed really weirdly at points too, Gontier just gets completely buried and you can barely hear him.



Odd to remember my first review on here was the Saint Asonia debut.

William21
October 26th 2019


499 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Surprisingly, I actually kind of dig this. I do tend to like this band better than 3DG, because I like the backing band behind Gontier better. Mushok is an underrated guitarist.

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
October 26th 2019


15797 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hmm I never had it where he sounded buried in the mix like?



You did the debut? Haha I’ll have to read that then

Aerisavion
October 26th 2019


1797 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Hmm maybe it’s just my car speakers for those bits, not usually an issue though so I’ll have to relisten.



Yeah it’s old and rough as hell though haha

Toondude10
October 26th 2019


14115 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

my thoughts exactly on this



good write-up

Digging: Norma Jean - All Hail

stasar
October 27th 2019


138 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah, actually the mixing did crowd out Adam at points, but on what they meant for it to be faded—it's just that this dynamic makes basically every song worse where it's used

jalexander311
October 28th 2019


25 Comments


I prefer "A Flawed Design" over "Flawed Design"

hobblepot
October 28th 2019


2386 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

agree with literally every point, i think i enjoyed this slightly more due to my nostalgia, Three Days Grace were one of my favourites growing up and it’s nice to hear Adam playing music he clearly cares about, even if it is a bit bland

Squizzy
October 28th 2019


7 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review, pretty much sums up my thoughts as well. Although I am enjoying this quite a bit, the album seems to drop off in the last few songs. They aren't "bad" but the album has a frontload issue with better songs in my opinion.

Toondude10
October 28th 2019


14115 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Sirens sounds like it could've been in that last Skillet album

kaparoni
October 28th 2019


347 Comments


I enjoy this album more than the first one

stasar
October 28th 2019


138 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

collabing with Within Temptation's Sharon was super nostalgic

TVC15
October 28th 2019


10252 Comments


As long as it's better than current TDG (which is a very low bar), I'm all for a new album. Good to hear Adam's voice again

TheSupernatural
October 28th 2019


2037 Comments


Album cover is.... not good

TVC15
October 29th 2019


10252 Comments


I guess you could say... it's a flawed design

Shamus248
October 30th 2019


461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review...love this album, huge step up from the s/t...Beast is the best song Adam has done since Life Starts Now

naughtcturnal
October 30th 2019


1350 Comments


now is that artwork some sumerian records level bullshit or what

Bhurke
November 3rd 2019


59 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

“TDG are the gods of buttrock” - my brother



Maybe I’ll bump this up later. I guess it’s fine for a band that isn’t much interested in being innovative



Also artwork is cringe [3]



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