Where should you go when the world seems strange, when you’re full of rage, and confusion reigns? Well, you might look to go Elsewhere. The punky prog-rock brainchild of Bostonian Michael Aroian, Elsewhere shreds full steam ahead at topics like addiction, disease, politics, and religion. With Aroian at his prophetic pulpit axe-in-hand and mic-to-mouth, he’s flanked by percussion professor Adam Soucy and bass-boss Jay Raffi. Over the years, the band has rostered a slew of New England artists as they raked in listeners and toured worldwide, releasing EP after EP.
However, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and a shocking cancer diagnosis for Aroian, the band evolved into its modern form. Their most recent release Life… is a Fraction marks a shift towards more concept-driven work from the trio. The 2022 album is Aroian’s colossal project exploring his recovery from cancer and the phenomenon he experienced throughout: each day seems faster than the last, as it represents a smaller fraction of the life we’ve lived thus far. The New Year brings a new slate of tour dates for the thoughtful and raucous tribe, enabling them to further spread their revelations to headbangers worldwide.
Off the aforementioned album, Elsewhere’s track “Life… is a Fraction: VI. Realization” stands alone as an epic rock tirade against moralist mind-controllers. In the context of the album, it follows the protagonist’s terminal diagnosis, where we find them irate towards the dogmatic, bureaucratic parasites that lied to them about the meaning and promises of life. Launched immediately from full-gain chords and the syncopated crashes of Soucy’s cymbals, the song winds through enraged realizations of deceit, gradually escalating towards… a bridge. Yes. A bridge at the end of this song leads you further down Aroian’s mad path of contemplation in the next track. Buckle up.
The video for “Life… is a Fraction: VI. Realization” democratizes Aroian’s personal journey. In it, we find an alternate female protagonist vehemently vlogging, presumptively fresh off a diagnosis or other agonizing revelation. Between shots of Aroian, Soucy, and Raffi melting minds, she rails against church, state, and general hate. Images of her enemies flash throughout until she hits the bridge and leaves them behind. As the song takes its final breath, she stands up from her chair with resolve and freedom from the vampires of yesterday – then walks off deeper into Elsewhere.