Alexisonfire - Crisis

Five guys with weighty hearts and crosses to bear are about to go even further towards bringing punk and post-hardcore within the reaches of a broader crowd, without compromising their sound or nature. A metallic coating to Dallas Green’s throaty cry and rampaging riffs mean that opener ‘Drunks, Lovers and Sinners and Saints’, quickly has a vice-like grip on intensity and does not let go until the final note has been drilled into your heart. The world is crushed into a bite-size package and swallowed up in lofty vocal bellows and gruffly intense outbursts, fuelled by bass-lines that shudder with release and focus in 'This Could Be Anywhere In The World'. It is apparent that this album has been produced with the aim of replicating the Southern Ontario outfit’s pull and potency that they display a live setting, something that has been honed by relentless touring. This impact largely comes off, with the bubbling, percussion dragged crescendo of 'Boiled Frogs’ being a prime example of the dynamic feel proffered on this, their third studio album.

Dallas Green, who released a searching solo album last year, has certainly not finished exorcising his demons, as the anger and his intensity builds up with the progression of this feisty parade. The downtrodden Rock N’ Roll riff led ‘We Are The End’, featuring a stammering vocal turn and grizzly backing cries, represents Alexisonfire at their most ranging and philosophical. Towards the end this quintet shakes hands with Boysetsfire by wrapping up snappy lyrical bite in shattering percussion and burning riffs. Thus making their anger more pronounced by utilising a reflective and an almost soul inspired interlude of calm projection for contrast. What makes this album stand out above others of this ilk is the fact that the passion and feeling is clear and understandable, often leading to scything angst, but it is not a forced reaction.

David Adair

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