The rock world has been buzzing since the debut of its latest supergroup, Saint Asonia. After emerging onto the scene not so subtly at the nation's biggest rock festival, Rock on the Range, and releasing their first single "Better Place", it is finally time for the band's full length self-titled album to drop. Saint Asonia features former Three Days Grace frontman Adam Gontier, Staind guitarist Mike Mushok, former Finger Eleven drummer Rich Beddoe, and former Eye Empire bassist Corey Lowery. While the initial intention of the collaboration may not have been to record an entire album and become a band, the album speaks for itself--these guys work together perfectly.
The album kicks off with lead single "Better Place". The track is a definite anthem for getting rid of someone toxic in your life and moving on with no regrets. Echoey vocals and a killer guitar solo set the tone for what to expect throughout the album. Heavy, distorted guitar riffs make the intro to "Blow Me Wide Open". Most likely about being used, distinguished guitar is complimented by the raspy vocals Gontier is known for.
"Let Me Live My Life" keeps the pace going, starting out with bass before the guitar and drums coming in heavy to set the tone for the track. The song is undeniably catchy, and lyrically, a standout on the album. Angry and bitter lines like "I could go get my knife or I could pull out the one that you stuck in the back" are relatable, and once again, Gontier's raspiness matches the lyrics immaculately. To top it all off, the track features a killer guitar solo from Mushok.
"Even Though I Say" is the first taste of the mellow side of Saint Asonia. The reflective track is accompanied by soft vocals that tell the story of believing in someone and then realizing that they aren't quite who you thought they were. The energy returns full force on "Fairy Tale". Simple music throughout the verses is all that's needed on this one. When the chorus hits, it's impossible not to rock out. The track seems to center around the fact that someone's comfortable life doesn't necessarily last--life happens and you have to deal with it. Sometimes you can become too relaxed with your life and don't want to admit that something went wrong. A short guitar solo further solidify "Fairy Tale" as another standout on the album.
Eerie vocals backed by bass introduce "King of Nothing". The chorus is aggressive both musically and lyrically, matching the theme of pushing everyone and everything away. "Waste My Time" is another soft song, and it stays that way consistently throughout the track. Acoustic guitar, soft electric guitar, and drums compliment the light sound. A sharp contrast to the rest of the album, "Waste My Time" is a happy, sweet love song that shows the diversity of the band's sound. Next up, "Dying Slowly" starts out soft, but the guitar and vocals certainly come in quickly with a bang. A sense of urgency and helplessness is felt while listening, as though you're losing someone and can't do anything about it. The song is highly emotional and can't help but pull on your heartstrings. "Trying to Catch Up With the World" may be familiar to fans of Gontier, unofficially released when he initially emerged as a solo artist following his departure from Three Days Grace. Re-recorded for the album, it differs slightly from the original, but remains true to its roots, raw and acoustic. Lyrically it is quite a turn from the rest of the album, seemingly less personal, yet still relatable.
The energy picks up once again on "Happy Tragedy". Distorted guitars followed by hard hitting drums get things moving, and it's nearly impossible to stop yourself from bobbing your head and rocking out along to the music. Once again, a sense of urgency is felt, as though you're holding onto something that you should let go of, and know that even though you expect more, you'll never get it and refuse to do anything about it. It packs a punch right through until the final note, closing out with a guitar solo. The album comes to a relaxing end with "Leaving Minnesota". The ballad has a bittersweet feel to it, and wraps up the album perfectly.
Though the members of Saint Asonia derive from previous successful bands, they were able to come together to create an album that can make a name for itself. Including both aggressive and softer tunes, Saint Asonia demonstrate to fans that the band isn't set on just one distinct sound. Saint Asonia have created quite the masterpiece, most definitely worthy of being picked up by rock fans across the board. Keep an eye out for the self-titled album dropping in stores on July 31st!