If that didn’t continue beyond that opener, it would be a real shame, but it’s no one-off. The stunning Sweet Dreams Of Otherness is a burning behemoth of raging psychedelia – think Wade’s Dooms Children project on steroids and turned up to 11 – while Sans Soleil is a gorgeous, almost proggy anthem about overcoming an episode of depressive self-loathing that’s as poignant as it is powerful.
Elsewhere, Dark Night Of The Soul starts off with an unexpected quasi-gospel a cappella vocals before shifting into a bludgeoning, doom-laden burst of post-hardcore, before shifting once again into something that sounds like John Carpenter on psychedelics. Which, if you were wondering, is a very good thing.
Those creepy strains of synth are also present at the start of Survivor’s Guilt – another song that starts on this planet before ascending to an astral plain somewhere in the darkest depths of the universe, while Reverse The Curse is a blistering post-hardcore song full of nuanced melodic textures.
But perhaps the best song to really understand what – or perhaps who – Alexisonfire have become on Otherness is final track World Stops Turning. Epic for all of its eight minutes and 16 seconds, it’s a track that, musically, spans decades – from the ’60s to now – and which, as it reaches its larger-than-life crescendo feels like the skies opening up before life as we know it ceases to exist. It doesn’t matter if you don’t believe in God – it still feels spiritual.
A phenomenal finale to an incredible (and long overdue) return.
For Fans Of: Kyuss, Thrice, Fucked Up
Otherness is released on Dine Alone on June 24