Saint Asonia
Saint Asonia


2.5
average

Review

by Pedro B. USER (354 Reviews)
June 22nd, 2022 | 8 replies


Release Date: 2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Radio Rock All-Stars Play The Hits of Three Days Grace.

As exciting as the concept of 'supergroup' is on paper – a meeting of creative minds from different quadrants, banding together to create something new – somehow, results for these types of projects more often than not turn out underwhelming. Whether it be because the musicians are coasting on their established careers, because of conflicting egos, or simply because the various aforementioned quadrants do not really mesh that well, the truth remains: for every Audioslave or Queens of the Stone Age, there are any number of other supposed all-star ensembles who either peter out before they can take off, or simply offer up mediocre or sub-par material not befitting their individual reputations. Radio-rock supergroup Saint Asonia definitely belong in the latter category, as, despite all four musicians originating from bands within the same spectrum, leading to a predictably cohesive, coherent and focused sound, the material across their (to date) two albums fails to impress across the board, restricting their audience to only the least demanding fans of any of the musicians' previous bands.

Their self-titled 2015 debut, in particular, squanders a golden opportunity to produce what might have been the ur-example of this type of sound, joining, as it does, three major names within the radio rock movement, in Adam Gontier - then just late of Three Days Grace - Mike Mushok of Staind, and Rich Beddoe of Finger Eleven (while credited as the bass player, Seether, Stuck Mojo and Stereomud alum Corey Lowery – younger brother of Sevendust's Clint - did not actually record with the group, who enlisted the help of no less than four bass players, including renowned producer Johnny K.) However, while such a lineup may (justifiably) have led fans of the genre to expect a high standard for the group's songwriting, the material presented across these eleven songs (thirteen on the European Special Edition disc) never manages to rise above the level of album deep cut for any of the musicians' source bands, with even the standouts falling well short of what any of these men can do.

Considering how important the lead singer is in establishing the identity of any musical act - and even moreso in the case of radio rock - and considering how unique and instantly distinctive Gontier's vocals are, it comes as no surprise to discover Saint Asonia's songs sound remarkably like Three Days Grace with the occasional added tecchy guitar solo thrown in. It is, however, somewhat disappointing that they seem to be the only influence, with neither Staind's flair for semi-acoustic balladry nor Finger Eleven's staccato riffing and drum work seeping through at any point across the duration of the album; even when elements of either band do creep in (Aaron Lewis would have had a field day with Waste My Time, and Happy Tragedy does sound somewhat like Finger Eleven's take on Three Days Grace's Riot) the overall result skews far too close to Gontier's previous group to truly be considered original, let alone unique; even Gontier's lyrics continue to explore the same themes as they always did - emotional manipulation, inner struggles, relationship breakdowns - if, admittedly, from a somewhat more mature perspective than before. In essence, other than the name on the cover, Saint Asonia (the album) could just as well have simply been another Three Days Grace release with Gontier as a frontman, and no one would have batted an eyelid.

Even more alarming is the flat, dull nature of the overwhelming majority of the compositions on display in the group's debut. Although many of the choruses do end up sticking after repeat listens, the overall impression left by the album is of smug 'this-will-do' complacency, as though Gontier had simply collected a few scraps off his old band's discarded pile on his way out the door and presented them to his new colleagues. With the odd notable exception (Blow Me Wide Open is big, dumb, raucous Three Days Grace fun) the rockers never quite stick, and the slower numbers, while passable, are simply 'there', seldom eliciting what one assumes might have been the desired emotion (with, again, the occasional exception). The end result is an album which makes it hard to pinpoint two standouts, let alone a third.

Still, what good there is to be found in Saint Asonia's debut album – the aforementioned Blow Me Wide Open, fellow exceptions to the rule on the ballad side, Trying To Catch Up With The World and Leaving Minnesota, and bonus track No Tomorrow, the umpteenth recreation of Riot – does do just enough to keep the record's overall level above the watershed, if only by the smallest of hair's breadths. Even still, the fact remains: in a world where Three Days Grace's discography is still readily available, and the band themselves are still touring, neither Saint Asonia, the album, nor Saint Asonia, the band, are in any way essential to anyone but the most die-hard Gontier mourners in his previous group's fanbase; and yet, it could so easily have been otherwise...

Recommended Tracks
Blow Me Wide Open
Trying to Catch Up With The World
Leaving Minnesota
No Tomorrow (Bonus Track)



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user ratings (128)
3.1
good
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Comments:Add a Comment 
pizzamachine
June 22nd 2022


16519 Comments


Was that second “paragraph” meant to be part of the first paragraph? It is one very long sentence. That does not constitute a paragraph mate.

Digging: Draconian - Under a Godless Veil

SIMBOLIC
June 22nd 2022


6318 Comments


^Don’t have to be a dick about it champ lol



pizzamachine
June 22nd 2022


16519 Comments


Wasn’t trying to be. I guess saying mate sounded sarcastic maybe? Not my intention, I apologize. I don’t apologize for giving constructive criticism though, shit’s supposed to be helpful around here.

SIMBOLIC
June 23rd 2022


6318 Comments


You can’t fool me with your reasonable response and apologies! We r now enemies!!!

pizzamachine
June 23rd 2022


16519 Comments


Lmaoooooo






Prepare to die 😶

SIMBOLIC
June 23rd 2022


6318 Comments


And btw good review r2r
lol sorry we hijacked your thread

ReturnToRock
June 23rd 2022


4681 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks for the feedback. Edited that part, along with a few other minor edits to improve the overall quality of the piece.

pizzamachine
June 23rd 2022


16519 Comments


You can catch this pos.



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