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Alexisonfire - Otherness (Album Review)

Wednesday, 06 July 2022 Written by Matt Mills

Photo: Vanessa Heins

If you rattle off the names of post-hardcore’s greatest bands and don’t include Alexisonfire you’re doing it wrong—the Canadian crew are among the genre’s most fearless and successful forces. They’ve topped the charts in their home country, despite specialising in scrapping, screaming aggro flavoured with bluesy heaviness.

‘Otherness’ is their first album in 13 years, putting them in Tool and Guns N’ Roses’ league when it comes to fan-baiting. But unlike ‘Fear Inoculum’  and ‘Chinese Democracy’, though, this slab of evolutionary rock is actually worth the wait.

Cards on the table: ‘Otherness’ is not a post-hardcore album. Despite the odd screech rearing its head, there’s no rampaging speed to be found here. Instead, it leans more heavily into melodic hard rock touches. 

The harshest sounds on it actually open the thing. Committed to the Con begins life as a noise number, its guitars grinding repeatedly and incessantly. However, as the drums and bass take over, a smoother grunge lick takes hold, and clean singer Dallas Green quickly busts out his loveliest croon.

Need more evidence of the beauty found on ‘Otherness’? Stick on Sans Soleil. This cataclysmic piece is the best Thrice song that Thrice never wrote, escalating from acoustic guitars to an earworm rock chorus, echoing “Where you end, I begin”. On the other hand, Conditional Love is a stomping punk jam, while Mistaken Information is a serenade built around delicate hums and ambient instrumentation.

At this stage, to call Alexisonfire post-hardcore would be to box them in. ‘Otherness’ is rock music at its eclectic best, able to pummel, soothe and hypnotise with equal prowess. More of this in fewer than 13 years next time, please!

Alexisonfire Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Fri October 14 2022 - CARDIFF Great Hall - Cardiff Uni
Sun October 16 2022 - MANCHESTER Manchester Academy
Mon October 17 2022 - GLASGOW Barrowland Ballroom
Wed October 19 2022 - LEEDS O2 Academy Leeds
Thu October 20 2022 - BRIGHTON Brighton Dome Concert Hall
Sat October 22 2022 - LONDON O2 Academy Brixton
Sun October 23 2022 - SOUTHAMPTON O2 Guildhall Southampton

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