AOTY 2020
Fontaines D.C. - A Hero's Death
Jul 31, 2020 (updated Jul 31, 2020)
In the middle of the rush, the dubliners brilliantly managed to come up with another album in a short space of time that was just as punchy but particularly different. If Dogrel staged the scenery and the context, A Hero's Death is a deeper and more sophisticated work on several layers, focusing on something more abstract and mysterious.

Founded only 3 years ago, everything goes so fast for Fontaines D.C. Yet the band doesn't skip steps, on the contrary the band faces them determinedly, with courage and without pretension. In addition to showing great self-confidence and an endurance that seems inexhaustible, the group succeeds in the audacious wager to evolve, where many others would have been sufficient themselves, reproducing what they know how to do with comfort. When in reality we have only just met them. They did it. Musically, this second album is more atmospheric, articulating around a noisy and very melancholic aesthetic, which makes it both touching and particularly hypnotic. In the end, A Hero's Death is so good to listen to, offering you such introspective listenings, that each time you'll end up finishing it without realizing it. With the help of a very airy production, the band forgoes a bit their pure and raw British punk sounds and formulas, to add a tortured and melodic Alternative Rock side of the 90s with a touch of late 60s / early 70s pop rock/proto punk. Where Dogrel played a bit more on the caricature of punk, A Hero's Death takes the listener in reverse, without ever losing its post-punk roots.

That's not all. There's a subtle poetry in the down-to-earth world they describe. The most deeply buried emotions and feelings become the driving force behind A Hero's Death. Grian Chatten always has a gift for putting a ton of images in our heads, describing them with precision, making the experience all the more immersive and gripping. On A Hero's Death it's a bit more nuanced than on the previous one, because Fontaines D.C. remains sufficiently evasive and complex on some subjects, that the listener is immersed more than ever in a continuous reflection. Personally I'm delighted with the result and the content. Although until the release I had a lot of unanswered questions, especially with the release of the first singles that were confusing the tracks. However, the fact that the band surprised us to go in a new direction instead of trying to reproduce a Dogrel bis is not only something that I strongly respect, but I can only congratulate them for having produced such a brilliant album. Besides, when you think about it, it was impossible for them to come up with something similar to Dogrel, or even closer. Dogrel is a bit like the first season of a cult series, you shouldn't look for the equal, you should offer new horizons to the fans and thus move forward, in order to launch a second season particularly endearing and plunging you into an unbearable suspense. That's clearly what's happening here
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