Alexisonfire – Otherness

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Overall Score: 8/10
Songs: 8/10
Replay Value: 9/10
Lyrics: 8/10
Pros: A challenging return to form
Cons: May be too mellow for some audiences

Romance films feature a well worn trope where the lovers are torn apart by life, only to be reunited over time. They wonder if the old feelings will still be there, have they changed, are they still the same people, so on and so forth.

It’s a feeling that often comes along when a band we love either goes on hiatus or breaks up entirely. Oftentimes they return older, perhaps wiser, we wonder how much will they have changed? How much have we changed, will they still be the band we fell in love with or will they be a stranger to us who we have to find a way to connect with?

ALEXISONFIRE‘s return feels like a prime example of this feeling. They are definitely no longer the kids they used to be. After 13 years, you wonder how much has changed from both sides.

Otherness is ALEXISONFIRE‘s first album of new material in 13 years. This is easily one of the years most anticipated albums. ALEXISONFIRE have always been a heavy band, emotionally & musically. Melding razor sharp riffs with George Petit‘s abrasive screams and the soulful melodies of Dallas Green, managing to bludgeon skulls and hearts in equal measure.

Otherness takes all of the caustic edge from ALEXISONFIRE and strips it all the way back. This is a very thoughtful and disarming album. Committed To The Con and Conditional Love give the fans a raucous reminder of just who they are. In these moments there’s an air of restraint, this is controlled rage in its purest form.

Sans Soleil and Mistaken Information are two of the best songs ALEXISONFIRE have ever constructed. The former features the sombre lyric “It’s easier to love someone else, than it is to be kind to yourself” which hits like a punch to the heart.

Survivor’s Guilt brings in a synth, giving the album a shot of adrenaline. Reverse The Curse is a ripping bluesy rocker that comes whirling in like an evil twin of EVERY TIME I DIEWorld Stops Turning is a spectral labyrinthine way to end the record. It’s the longest moment on here and shows ALEXISONFIRE stretching their wings into more progressive territory.

Otherness is a fascinating record. It distills everything that makes ALEXISONFIRE such an incredible band. It balances propulsive rage with tender fragility. It’s the musical equivalent of a glass sledgehammer. Time has been kind to this band, time away from the world, as well as time to reconnect with who they are and who their fans are. This is a mature, focused and multifaceted album that will take the listener on an emotional rollercoaster that you’ll be wanting to get straight back on the second it ends.

Otherness is out on June 24th Via Dine Alone

For more information on ALEXISONFIRE, like their offical page on Facebook.

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