On October 25, 2019, Saint Asonia released their sophomore album, Flawed Design. This album was so long waited that fans were beginning to get skeptical if it was ever going to be released. A lot of things were the cause of this, including front man Adam Gontier going back to rehab for drugs and alcohol, as well as him having a newborn son.
He spoke up about this regarding one of the singles released just prior to the album's release, "This August Day." He did not go into details about the drugs, but given his past, its safe to assume it was a prescription drug, Oxycontin. He actually said he was unfortunately across the country dealing with the recovery process at the time of his son's birth.
I admit, hearing this information, while I felt horrible he had to go through that, it did bring up some hope. If you've been around for a while, or just know me, you know Three Days Grace when Adam was in the band, was my absolute favorite. They're the whole reason I got into rock music, so I was extremely excited when Saint Asonia came on the scene.
However, despite what I said at the time of the album's release, I was not the biggest fan of the first album. I hardly ever find myself turning on anything from that album, and frankly felt like it was all a complaint about the departure of Three Days Grace. I looked back at the review, and I spoke highly of it then, but the album had only been out one day. Its been four years now, and frankly I'm over it. I honestly think I only spoke highly of it out of excitement and it was in the middle of a very busy time for Immortal Music, so I may have rushed a bit.
Because of all this, I was a bit leery of this album. Hearing that there had been some turmoil that had happened, gave me some hope that the song writing would improve. That being said, I wasn't impressed with the first single, "The Hunted", it just didn't hold my attention. Nothing about it stood out to me at all. There was absolutely nothing special about it, not even that it features Sully Erna from Godsmack.
I solidly procrastinated on listening to this album, hence why its been out four days and its been open on my laptop this entire time, yet you're only just now hearing about it from me. I went in not expecting great things, which frankly I felt horrible about. I wanted to love this album, but I just have to be blunt here -this is not a great album at all.
They tried, I can see the effort through out the album, but frankly the only song I think I truly liked was "Beast." ITs about holding on and staying strong even when the beast inside is trying to get you down. I presume that 'the beast' is referring to anxiety or depression, but it also could be referring to the drug addiction. I could see me turning that one on from time to time, but there is one thing that carried through the entire album that really stood out to me.
The production of the album was so inconsistent, and frankly sloppy. I don't quite understand it, because it was not self produced, and even if it had been, I know Adam Gontier at least is capable of decent production. He released some solo work while in between the two bands that was crisp, and very well done.
One song in particular really showcased an example of that, and that was, "Sirens." "Sirens" features Within Temptation's front person, Sharon den Adel, which was a nice surprise I admit. You don't see her featured in much. But you get up to the first chorus and it sounds like the instrumentals are above the vocals, and it all feels drowned out. Then after the first chorus, it gets much clearer and I just can't help but wonder how that wasn't caught before it was released. Though that at least did have a stand out lyric, "Another brick in the wall, we were born to resist it if it falls. Come with me, we will rise."
Over all, I'm really sorry to say but this is one of the most disappointing albums I've heard in a while. I really wanted to like it, I wanted to be pleasantly surprised. But unfortunately, this just did not cut it in any way for me.
What do you guys think? Do you feel like they nailed it? Or are you with me on thinking they came close to doing well, but still missed the mark. Please let me know in the comments, or over on the Facebook page.
Also, if you're interested and in the area, Saint Asonia currently has one show coming up in Minneapolis, MN on November 21. For more information, merch and more, head on over to their official website.
All reviews have the date they were written, the album title, and the band's name, with the exception of Life Starts Now by Three Days Grace and Dear Agony by Breaking Benjamin. Those dates were guessed at, as they were written well before the website began.