Self-titled and self-assured in latest album
Brandon Collins/Copy Editor
Asking Alexandria, an English rock band from York, England formed in 2006, seems to have been on a constant downwards spiral the last six years. From drama and poor releases of albums to
original vocalist, Danny Worsnop, leaving the band in 2015 to focus on his other band and solo career, the band has been slowly falling from grace, losing fans left and right.
Following the release of the band’s fourth album, The Black, in 2016 with new lead vocalist Denis Stoff, many fans seemed distressed because they felt that band’s essential sound left with Worsnop. Because of this, the band went out and stated that they were now experimenting with the music in an attempt to prevent backlash from the fan base. Although Stoff came from a similar metalcore band, Make Me Famous, that even cited Asking Alexandria as a role model band for them, many of the fans lost interest, and the band continued to fall.
However, all that seemed to change early last year when the band announced that they would be reuniting with Worsnop and working on a new, self-titled album, Asking Alexandria, which departs from their original metalcore work, and now incorporates other musical genre influences such as stadium rock, pop, and even country.
The album, released on Dec. 15 of last year, opens to Worsnop stating “I’ve been away, a little while,” which the band follows with their uniquely polished riffs battling with a modicum of synth, with Worsnop’s vocals harmonizing with both the highs and lows of the song tempo.
The song is followed on the album by the lead single, “Into the Fire,” which is just as grandiose and pompous as the previous song, “Alone in a Room,” and is similar to that of the original Asking Alexandria musical style. Many have claimed that it is the track that shows the return of the band as a vital part of music in the rock industry.
“Hopelessly Hopeful” and “Where Did It Go” are both a mix of soothing voices and beats, to their more well known fast paced drums and strums. The two songs are both, in their distinct ways, the perfect combination of melodies and seductive beats.
Other songs on the album, such as “Rise Up” and “When The Lights Come On,” both seem like a musical compilation of Asking Alexandria meets Slipknot meets Paramore meets Panic! at the Disco. Both songs seem like songs that the band would love to perform live and potentially bring the roof down. “When The Lights Come On” seems to grab much more pop element then most songs on the album, and may even be a preview of what we can expect from Asking Alexandria in the future.
“Under Denver” is the first of two ballad-like songs on the album. It seems like that beyond cheesy song that a metal band puts out once every blue moon, but yet it just works for the band.
They executed the song so well that you cannot help but sing along when you finally learn the words. “Vultures” is the other ballad-like song on the album, but unlike “Under Denver” which still has the use of electric guitar and quick beats, “Vultures” is acoustically driven.
Given Worsnop’s solo career in country music, it is not hard to find where the basis for this song originates. This song is one of two songs on the album that includes no screaming in any form on the album and is probably one of their more easy-listening songs on their discography.
“Eve” is easily the most reminiscent of the band’s classic style of heavy riffs, hard beats, and almost constant screaming. “I Am One” seems just like a basic metalcore song, with highs and lows in both vocals and instrumentals. “Empire” is just a question altogether. Seemingly put on the album almost as a mistake, it features Bingx, a Seattle based Hip-Hop artist. For the first half of the song, it seems like a very modern pop meets hip-hop song that we see now and then.
Overall, the record was pretty good. Although it had a few songs that just seemed randomly there, most songs were distinctly Asking Alexandria, and are something we would like to see more of in the future. From heavy hitters to soft ballads, Asking Alexandria has piqued our interest with this album and are surely back on an upward trend.