Former members of Three Days Grace, Staind, Finger Eleven and more join together to form the new super group Saint Asonia.
Back in 2013 a shockwave was sent to the rock world when Adam Gontier, the unique voice of Three Days Grace, announced that he would be leaving the band. While fans of Three Days Grace were waiting to hear who would replace the vocals of one of Canada’s better rock imports, there were others who wondered where Gontier would venture to.
It wasn’t until almost two years later that we found out that Adam Gontier would return as the voice of a new band, and also that it would be the proverbial super-group featuring former musicians of bands including Staind, Dark New Day and Finger Eleven.
Saint Asonia marks the next supergroup to instantly grab rock media’s attention to see what will be delivered. While supergroups aren’t always the success that a name like Audioslave or A Perfect Circle have, the potential of already successful musicians combining to produce something new is usually a promising experience, even if short lived.
The difficult task ahead for Saint Asonia will be to find a new identity outside of their former bands and sounding different from the music played previously. In a quote from Gontier describing the album as diverse, he stated that:
“it’s got a bit of a metal vibe to it, but it’s definitely different than both Staind and Three Days Grace…It’s some of the heaviest stuff that I’ve ever written…but it’s also got a couple of the lightest, a couple of straightforward, acoustic guitar and vocal tracks. It’s kind of all over the place…”
Now that almost two months have gone by since mainstream rock radio has been playing the first track by Saint Asonia, it’s safe to say that the new project has gained attention and also gained anticipation on what the band can deliver.
Despite the previously read quote from Adam Gontier, the song Better Place undeniably sounds like it could be placed in a Three Days Grace album. The main difference though is that the guitar solo and chords are fantastic and do NOT take away from the singing.
The first time I heard this song I wasn’t blown away, but I later found out that the radio version I had heard was slightly shortened. Listening to it in full as the album opener greatly improved my opinion and experience of the song.
While Gontier’s previously read quote said the album is “all over the place”, I personally think it’s the quieter more acoustically focused tracks that Saint Asonia shine. While some of the harder riffed songs can sound a bit similar after the album continues on, the slower and more paced songs like Leaving Minnesota and Waste My Time are the ones that REALLY stand out as new material and something different.
While the album opener Better Place set a standard of what to expect for the harder sound, Leaving Minnesota ends everything very introspectively with a gorgeous melody. Lyrically it’s easy to sing along with and you can hear the emotion in the vocals. The acoustics are amazing and everything flows together.
Saint Asonia in many ways feels like a good group. There is a drive here from musicians that love what they do. Even if some of the harder tracks do sounds similar when compared back to back, it’s hard to deny that there is value here for a new project from the key members of many other successful bands.
It may not be clear how long Saint Asonia will last as a band or what the future plans will be after their self-titled album, but as for now, it’s something to enjoy. It’s something people can get behind.
Overall, Saint Asonia offer a variety of hard and soft with very familiar musician styles. If you loved Better place then you will enjoy this album, and if you in any way miss the days of Three Days Grace with Adam as their voice, then you NEED this self-titled release.