Let's face it; throughout the relatively brief histories of the Metalcore/Nü Metalcore genres, few groups have weathered the loss of a lead vocalist with both their dignity and sanity entirely intact. However, this was most definitely not the case when York, North Yorkshire-born quintet Asking Alexandria parted ways with the multi-octave Danny Worsnop. Wasting little time issuing the Denis Stoff-fueled The Black in 2016, the group released the singles “I Won't Give In”, “The Black” and “Here I Am”, to nearly universal acclaim, making it an arguably unqualified--and completely unexpected--success. Despite this, Stoff would himself depart later that year amid allegations of lip-syncing and a lack of communication, 'paving the way' for Worsnop to re-join as a full-time member. Triumphantly returning with a bloodthirsty vengeance courtesy of the eponymous Asking Alexandria (2017), the group now appears destined to ascend to their rightful place amid the fabled hierarchies of the genre.
On the brilliant Asking Alexandria (2017), an expertly assembled thirteen song collection of Post Hardcore-infused Metalcore, each track, beginning with the maddeningly infectious first single “Into The Fire” and the relentlessly pummeling tirade “Where Did It Go?”, immediately commands the rapt and undivided attention of all parties involved, myself most definitely included. Wisely attempting--or so it would seem--to capitalize on the tidal wave of momentum initiated with the release of the chart-topping behemoth From Death To Destiny (2013), the group drives home each key focal point with their now trademark blend of soaring vocals, blistering fretwork and imaginatively punishing rhythms. Effortlessly re-obliterating their few misguided detractors with a previously under explored level of virtuosity, the group flexes their creative muscles early and often, utilizing an innovative lyrical and compositional approach while remaining 'cognizant' of their tried and true methodologies.
Continuing with the uniquely pleading--or perhaps even outright urgent--“When The Lights Come On” and the delightfully somber, Electronica-infused vision “Under Denver”, the newly-rejuvenated combination of lead vocalist and keyboardist Danny Worsnop (replacing previously mentioned ex-Down & Dirty, Make Me Famous frontman Denis Stoff), lead guitarist Ben Bruce, rhythm guitarist Cameron Liddell, bassist Sam Bettley and drummer James Cassells steamrolls ahead like the well-oiled machine they have again become. Boldly building upon their brazen Post-Hardcore and Metalcore roots, the group systematically stomps, twists and turns through each carefully-crafted excursion. Unleashing an initial sonic assault that easily exceeds even the most optimistic of 'fanboy-esque' expectations, the group delivering the proverbial goods without, believe it or not, burying the average listener (i.e. you, the increasingly faithful exponent) amid an avalanche of mind-numbing redundancies.
Produced and Mixed by a dream team tandem of the acclaimed Matthew Good (D.R.U.G.S., From First To Last, Kit Fysto) and Taylor Larson (ex-From First To Last, Memphis May Fire, Veil Of Maya) at Good studios, other standouts, including the emotionally-overwrought lament “I Am One” and the equally impressive, Bingx-propelled “Empire”, only further reinforce the group's already well-deserved reputation as a bona fide creative and commerical force not to be ignored. Fortified throughout by a 'hidden' Radio Edit of “Into The Fire”, the group maintains a precarious balance between the tonalities of their distant past and the stylistic shifts initiated with the release of the Under The Influence: A Tribute To The Legends Of Hard Rock (2012). While it remains unclear if the group's attempts to recapture the lightning in a bottle chemistry of yore will still prove successful above and beyond theis particular sonic endeavor, their once unsure future has become increasingly enlightened.
So what exactly, are you waiting for? With the group obviously re-energized by the much-welcomed return of Worsnop, the majority--if not all--of the decidedly memorable wares contained herein effectively personify the absolute pinnacle of the Metalcore genre. An true must-have for any genuine and sincere Asking Alexandria enthusiast, the mighty Asking Alexandria (and, as a result, the improbably long-running group itself) ultimately succeeds by wholeheartedly re-embracing the veritable wealth of fist-pumping, mosh-inducing intensities that initially propelled them to the oft-dizzying heights of international acclaim. Love 'em or loathe 'em, this is quite possibly as good as it will get. Needless to say, if you have once again found yourself in search of a refreshingly straightforward reprieve from the painfully mindless, din and clatter that is so often 'mainstream' Metal, then this, my friends, might just be the high-octane cure-all for what ails you. Trust me, you will not be disappointed.
Asking Alexandria (2017)
The Black (2016)
Live From Brixton And Beyond (2014)
From Death To Destiny (2013)
Under The Influence: A Tribute To The Legends Of Hard Rock (EP) (2012)
Stepped Up And Scratched (Re-Mix) (2011)
Reckless & Relentless (2011)
Life Gone Wild (EP) (2010)
Stand Up And Scream (2009)
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