Alexisonfire – ‘Otherness’

By Dave Stewart

About ten years ago, Alexisonfire broke the hearts of the post-hardcore adoring masses all over the globe when they revealed that they’d be going on an indefinite hiatus. A band that had touched and inspired a generation of misunderstood and misrepresented youth, coming to a gut-wrenching halt in front of our eyes. With four golden albums under their belts and a glittering live reputation, it really felt like the post-hardcore scene was being robbed of one of the greats far too early.

The band started making a few noises in 2015 with a number of one-off shows, special deluxe boxsets and surprise singles making their way into existence, but it always felt like a band prolonging their goodbye, making sure they’d said their every single one of their farewells before shuffling into the shadows. Now, though, with the eagerly anticipated brand new album ‘Otherness’ becoming reality rather than hopeful rumour, those farewells now feel more like reassurances that they were never going to leave. It is so good to have them back.

There’s something so uplifting and evocative about Alexisonfire making a proper return, and all those feelings are amplified tenfold by the album being as wonderful as this is. Reunions generally go one way (the good way) or the other (the “maybe you shouldn’t have gotten back together” way), and it’s genuinely heartwarming that a band that so many hold so close to their hearts has returned to release an absolute blinder of a record that doesn’t just pay homage to their legacy, but extends it.

Opening number ‘Committed To The Con’ brings you right back into their inimitable world, with George Pettit’s vicious snarls laid bare over velvety grooves to be later joined by the voices of the gritty Wade MacNeil and the angelic Dallas Green to elevate the chorus into the stratosphere. Following track and first single ‘Sweet Dreams Of Otherness’ continues those vibes, turning the distortion up as far as it can go as those grooves swell into walls of sound, with the whole band showing that they haven’t lost any of their power whatsoever.

Long term fans will be pleased to know that there’s a whole host of classic Alexisonfire material here to tickle your nostalgia bone