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Alexisonfire - Old Crows/Young Cardinals
Published by theichimaru
Author review
Replay value
Average 91%

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Alexisonfire - Old Crows/Young Cardinals

Alexisonfire are no longer underdogs. This presents challenges of a completely different nature - you don't necessarily need to create and invent something new rather than maintain your same high standards. Look at bands like Linkin Park. After Hybrid Theory their songs remain true to tried and tested formula and they are still at the top of their genre. Alexisonfire however wanted to go a step further than that - they decided to change things up. There is alot less use of Dallas Greens mournful vocals and more of the high energy screaming from George Pettit.

The first track, 'Old Crows', is one of the best of the album. The chorus is a vicious chant that hints strongly at what I already said - the ushering in of change. This album (and song) is generally heavier than the AOF you may of heard. 'We are not the kids we used to be/Stop wishing for yesterday' sums it up perfectly. The track almost sounds like it's being broadcast over a tannoy system, as if they're relaying it throughout society. This is the first (but by no means the last) track that utilises chanting/combined vocals for maximum effect.

The next track, 'Young Cardinals', feels like more of an epic. I think any song that uses Green's mournful voice can be considered epic but the meaning of this song is more abstract and the chorus feels more emotional than the one before it. There are potential connotations to be had with religion here but I won't look too deep for fear of offending someone to the point of solid rage.

Track three 'Sons of Privilege' is a mighty swipe at the USA, citing them for being sheep and slaves. The connector between verse and chorus has Pettit snarling and grunting about freedom while the chorus is a great chanting piece with both vocalists pushing their voices out in high pitch, resonating with one another. A great song, especially popular in this day and age! America bashing is great after all.

Track four starts with a gentle wailing of the guitar, an unfamiliar sound with AOF and this song again uses intermittent areas of the vocalists dancing in and out with one another. It sounds a bit more like the old AOF, more edgy and depressive. The entire song sounds a little bit more vintaged to me. 'Born and Raised' is one of my favourite tracks nonetheless, although you'll hear me say that for alot of them!

'No Rest' starts quietly with a high-hat drum beat but then leads into some rolling riffery, one that gets your head nodding. The rest of the song definitely feels alot like an independent bands music - this isn't to take away from the song but it isn't one of my favourites. It doesn't use Greens abilities at all and as much as I like Pettit, the mournful wailing Dallas brings is what makes AOF stand out from the crowd - a voice that can get the hair on the back of your neck up.

Track six, 'The Northern', is alot more haunting and melodic and the body of the song is made up of gentle guitar riffery and mournful poetry from Green. The chorus is great, 'I want to go to heaven! (Oh Jordan, Ohhhh, Jordan)' is definitely the kind of line that gets the fans singing to the rafters, hands raised. It almost sounds like they're contributing to it at some points in the song! One for the live set.

Track seven, 'Midnight Regulations', gets off to a heavy start, roaring into action with twisted guitar riffery. The song screams about the rights of the common man - where is his charity! They cry out in desperation. This is about as good as album filler can get but I personally think it just gives you a breather before my personal favourite of the album - track eight, 'Emerald Street'

This track just feels like the epic that makes an album. With a great music video I can easily see this heading straight for all the top spots. It has a great pace and the notes hit all the right spots - this is like this albums 'No Transitory' - a chorus that gives you the goosebumps with vintage lyricals from Green. Pettit does great here as well - sometimes he becomes almost white noise on some tracks as you concentrate mainly on the great music behind him as opposed to whatever it is he might be saying. I love this track. It speaks, I think, of a run-down society epitomized by the prostitutes found in Emerald Street. It's great stuff. Album maker. 10/10

The next track is a heart felt plea for finding success and growing. 'Heading for the Sun', almost a defiant cry against all others who would ever try to hold them back or stop them. For these guys, the only way is up. The chorus is almost insane in it's vehemence. A great track, Pettit does a great job in the chorus here, giving it that raw, gritty edge that he does so well.

I love 'Allow Crime' - number 10 - as well. They almost represent the youth of today. Defiant and obstinate in the face of oppression to their wily shenanigans. I love the line 'Theres no police between two beating hearts!', talking about how some things can't be commanded or instructed. They speak of passion and freedom in hard times.

The final track, 'Burial', is a reserved finish to the album. Melodic and soft, you feel yourself begin to sway to it's gentleness. Almost one to end a great live show with - and an album - it works a treat.

This album is fantastic so listen to it post haste...

1. Old Crows
2. Young Cardinals
3. Sons Of Privilege
4. Born And Raised
5. No Rest
6. The Northern
7. Midnight Regulations
8. Emerald Street
9. Heading For The Sun
10. Accept Crime
11. Burial

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  #1 (permalink)  
By Spiral Trance on 06-08-2009
I just got this album in iTunes, and I'm surprised at how much I like it. The songs are catchy, and the musicianship is great. There's a lot of punk thrown in there to counterbalance the metal, and it really grabs the listeners attention.
Great Review!
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  #2 (permalink)  
By CrazyInformer on 12-08-2009
Yes a great review of a great band, i didn't think they would ever release a new album but to match the brilliant debut with another great album shows there true class
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  #3 (permalink)  
By Rock3 on 12-08-2009
Yes now that i have heard the album.. you have done a good job there 'theichimaru', well done, I love the album as well
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album, alexisonfire, aof, cardinals, crows, metal, review, rock music

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