Asking Alexandria is back with a self-titled album, which may be their best yet. While it may not be the most common thing in the world for bands to make their fifth release a self-titled album, this release is a rebirth for the band. Not long after the release of From Death to Destiny in 2013, lead singer Danny Worsnop left the band to pursue a different project, a band called We Are Harlot. The move was the breaking point that highlighted a difference in stylistic opinion. Worsnop was finding more vocal success in less heavy music, a direction that the rest of the band did not want to go. Asking Alexandria pushed forward and released a new album, without Worsnop, entitled The Black.
Neither We Are Harlot or Asking Alexandria (sans Worsnop) were hitting on the same success as the band had been previously. As a fan, I was beyond excited when I learned that the band had reconciled, and that they would be releasing a new record with Worsnop back on the mic. I was even more excited after I heard the first single “Into the Fire”. The song features every element of Asking Alexandria at their best: catchy riffs and a majestic feeling backdrop, a strong mix of clean vocals and heavy screaming, and deep and meaningful lyrics. I was pumped to hear what the full album had in store.
The album itself doesn’t drop until December 15, 2017, but your friendly neighborhood metal voice for Spinning Thoughts was lucky enough to get an early listen. The album is twelve tracks of pure perfection. Asking Alexandria has a feel that few bands, especially in the metal genres, can accomplish; the ability to pour out pure emotion into every track. The lyrics are deep and methodical. It is relatable and powerful along every turn. Songs like “Where Did It Go?” use both clean vocals and screams with a slow build up that really send the listener on an emotional rollercoaster. I challenge you not to hang on every word!
There are a few tracks that add unique elements to the record as well. “Under Denver” is a slower, mellow track that takes a step back, right in the middle of the album. It is melodic and has some really cool techno-elements in the hook. “Vultures”, which is one of the most appealing tracks on the album, is a stripped down acoustic ballad that focuses on Warsnop’s amazing range and inspired vocals. Towards the close of the album, the band also throws a curveball with “Empire”, which features rapped vocals with a full band chorus. This is sure to draw ire from metal fans, but it is so well done and really adds to the diversity of the album.
Asking Alexandria has some great new approaches for the band, but there are some classic, heavy tracks that fans have come to expect from the band as well. In addition to “Into the Fire” there are majestic anthems with hooks that will get stuck in your head like “Hopelessly Hopeful” and the closing track “Room 138”. It also has the heavy side that the band loves to showcase. The heaviest tracks on the album are “I Am One” and “Rise Up”, which is my favorite track on the album.
From start to finish, Asking Alexandria delivers. For me, it is that album that always seems to drop right at the end of the year that makes you second guess what your favorites of the year really are (spoiler alert, that list is coming soon, and this album is definitely on it!). A new album and a co-headlining tour with Black Veil Brides is just what the doctor ordered for the reunion of one of the most solid bands in metal today. If you haven’t given Asking Alexandria a listen before, do it now! They are certainly going to make an impact in 2018. Catch them on tour next year with Black Veil Brides and Crown The Empire!
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