It may have been a Monday night in Cincinnati, but the rock n’ roll believers congregated to Bogart’s in adoration of music’s newest patron saint, Saint Asonia. If someone came in not believing in the power of the Saint Asonia, they were certainly converted during the band’s heavy duty set. In case you are not familiar with the group, allow me to catch you up. Saint Asonia is a new band made up Adam Gontier (formerly of Three Days Grace) on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Mike Mushok (Staind) on lead guitar, Corey Lowery (Eye Empire) on bass and Rich Beddoe (formerly of Finger Eleven) on drums. Given the resumes of the individual members, the group could easily be dismissed as just another super group. While I agree that the band meets the criteria of such, I simply prefer to think of them as a great new band that kicks some serious ass.
Given the guys individual history, the band was surrounded by speculation and anticipation well before the release of their self-titled debut album on July 31st of this year. Not being familiar with much of the material from the member’s previous bands, I myself was not sure what to expect. As I sat down with the album for my first listen, I was blown away by the sheer power of the eleven songs that make up the album. The record has bone crushing riffs, blistering solos, a thunderous rhythm section and aggressive lyrics delivered with a melodic attack. Some of the highlights of the album for me are “Blow Me Wide Open,” “Fairy Tale,” and my personal favorite, “King of Nothing. “ The album does slow down for a handful of tracks, but it never loses its intensity. The track, “Waste My Time,” could be the closest thing to a ballad on the record, and could easily be a cross over hit for the band. But I must stress that it does not feel like the band was trying to do that, they just happened to write a really beautiful song.
While many bands can pull off a great record, the true test to their accountability is their live show. While the band received a lot of positive reviews for their first public appearance at this year’s Rock on the Range Festival, how would they do with a headlining set? I am happy to report that Saint Asonia is just as powerful on the live stage as they are on their record….if not more. Each member was enthusiastic and energetic from the opening song, “Better Place,” through the set closer, “Let Me Live My Life.” The guys had a cohesiveness to them that really created a band feeling, not just four guys from other bands getting a paycheck. I thought it was very cool when drummer Rich Beddoe took the stage and took time to engage the crowd before taking his spot behind the kit. So many times all you ever see is the top of the drummers head for the entire show. A true testament to the band’s energy is the fact that none of the guys were stationary for a single minute during the set. They were constantly moving and giving their all to their audience.
If you missed the show this time around, all I can say is that you missed out. The good news is, I get the feeling that they are going to be around for a while. In October the band will hit the road with Seether for the final U.S. leg of the Isolate and Medicate Tour. They will also be a part of the Louder Than Life Festival in Louisville, KY on Saturday, October 3rd. I assure you they are well worth the road trip! But in the mean time, pick up the new record from Saint Asonia and play it loud and play it often.