Whenever you hear about ASKING ALEXANDRIA what’s the first thing that comes up to your mind, besides the characteristic, heavy/melodic guitar riffing and the classic metalcore breakdowns? Is it Danny Worsnop’s (vocalist in the band’s first three albums) combination of brutal and melodic singing or is it Denis Stoff’s (vocalist in the fourth album – The Black, 2016) calmer and highly-pitched distorted vocals? The majority of the band’s fans thought the first and desired the return of Danny Worsnop in the vocal duties. This was made possible after Denis Stoff’s departure from the band in October 2016. Which leads us to their new, fifth studio album, named after the band’s name, that was released on December 15, 2017, featuring Danny on vocals.
“Asking Alexandria is certainly an album that will divide the fans due to the introduction of new elements…”
Specific dilemmas occur while listening to the twelve included songs, due to the fact that there is a conflict between the character of the previous albums -that feature Danny Worsnop or not- and this new offering of ASKING ALEXANDRIA. While the songs in Asking Alexandria instrumentally are more complex and melodic, it’s certain additions in the band’s writing formula, lyrical themes and Danny’s overall interpretation of the songs, which make them differ. Especially in tracks like “Alone in the Room”, “Where Did I Go?” and “Hopelessly Hopeful”, it can be observed that the content and the meaning of the lyrics is clearly more elaborated. The absence of the brutal vocals on these songs couldn’t pass unnoticed either, while the sweet and slightly distorted clean vocals create a beautiful yet varied result. Throughout this album even more variations occur, with the exception of the aggressive riffs and general heavy tone of “Rise Up” and “When the light comes on”. Here the old-school brutal vocals return for a while, to satisfy and persuade the older fans, about this unique, in the band’s discography, record. Worth mentioning, is also the climatic tension that is built up from slightly aggressive to the full badass hardcore breakdowns of “Into the Fire” and at the harsh ending of “I am one”.
Last but not least, the biggest surprise of this album, is not the slow acoustic ballad “Vultures” (where Danny shows how amazing his vocal range and capabilities are) but the song “Empire” that features BINGX (a hip-hop artist), who introduces a bit of a rap music element in a somewhat metalcore atmosphere. Asking Alexandria is certainly an album that will divide the fans due to the introduction of new elements that either “will rise up their interest” or force them to “condemn it into the fire”.