As a supergroup with members all hailing from the world of harder hitting rock music, it’s no surprise that Saint Asonia’s self-titled debut sounds like it could come from any one of the bands that its members originate from. With Three Days Grace’s Adam Gontier at the head on vocals, it almost feels like it could have gone under that name instead. It’s the supporting members hailing from the likes of Staind and Finger Eleven, elements of their play styles from those bands also manage to creep in. While Saint Asonia might not be the most original album ever, it’s definitely one that lives up to the legacy of its members.
Saint Asonia is obviously and unashamedly a heavy rock album at its core. Between the blaring guitars and Gontier’s shouting vocals, it covers the same territory that you would expect from a group like this. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; the quality of the music is what you would expect of a supergroup with this level of power, with strong production values, riffs and lyrics appearing throughout the album. It will definitely make fans of both the members’ previous bands and the genre itself happy.
The album reaches its only real misstep on the fifth track. Fairy Tale in particular suffers from its repetitive chorus, both in riffs and lyrics—Your fairy tale’s at the end / You’re starting over again / Your fairy tale’s at the end—sounds awkward in execution compared to the verses, whose energy felt like they were leading to a stronger chorus. The quality of the surrounding songs, especially the following track King of Nothing, makes it an especially noticeable low point on the album.
Saint Asonia’s strong points, however, are the less bombastic tracks. Waste My Time sees them going in a more natural direction, with acoustic guitar taking the lead while the electric guitar backs it up during choruses. It’s an especially good showcase for Gontier’s voice; these songs aren’t new territory, but it reinforces how well he tackles them. Trying To Catch Up With The World isn’t acoustic, but it takes a more subdued rock sound instead, as does Leaving Minnesota. While all three tracks are high quality, Leaving Minnesota is especially strong thanks to the amazing guitar solo near its climax, which ends the album on a high note.
Saint Asonia definitely feels like a supergroup album. It highlights all of the best qualities of its members, and even with the misstep in Fairy Tale it leaves a strong impression afterwards. There’s still room to change things up with their hard rock tracks as they expand upon the group dynamic and get used to working with each other, but these things come with time. As it stands, Saint Asonia are headed in the right direction.