Over a decade has passed since Alexisonfire last blessed our ears with Old Crows / Young Cardinals. A hiatus, a pandemic, some single and multiple festival performances later, and the post-hardcore legends are back with their fifth full release: Otherness (Dine Alone).
The opening track, ‘Committed to the Con’ provides a juddering start to the release as George Pettit‘s iconic vocals crackle into focus for not long as accompanying vocalist Dallas Green begins his classic soaring croons overhead. It’s the Alexisonfire signature sound that audiences across the world have loved. While not breaking new ground, the band has cultivated this melody into their own distinct brand. As the song closes into a distorted crackle, there is an air about it that feels like the atmosphere just before you see the headlining band.
Full of anticipation and excitement, just as the moment hits its peak, Alexisonfire burst into life with the title track, ‘Sweet Dreams of Otherness’ which encapsulates all that fans have grown to love about the band over the years. Bright vibrant guitars as the two vocalists go back and forth perfectly complimenting each other with that sweet and sour style. It feels almost as if no time has passed between 2009 and now.
Track: ‘Survivor’s Guilt’ plays as a wild card in the body of music. Introduced with an eighties synth solo seemingly straight out of a horror, the sound lapses in heavy guitar work, Wade MacNeil taking a leaf out of his other project’s work in Gallows adds a dingier sound to the band’s repertoire. Underneath all of this grime, is still the finesse that the band prides itself in, with subtle guitar licks underneath the sound adding much needed depth to the piece.
As mentioned before, it really feels as if no time has passed since the band left us in 2016. The band is full of life on this album. Unlike other reformed acts, rather than a grab for cash or for nostalgia sake. The performance of the album shows the band making music again for the right reasons as Pettit and Dallas bat to and fro with their harsh and clean vocals, there’s a camaraderie that not many other bands are able to achieve in the same way.
On Otherness, they have reinvigorated their unique sound on this release, incorporating newer sounds into their own and created a great atmosphere. Ultimately, this is Alexisonfire at their peak.
9 / 10