|Asking Alexandria - ‘The Black’ (Sumerian Records)|
|Written by Rob Watkins|
|Monday, 28 March 2016 03:25|
‘The Black’ is the fourth studio album from English metalcore act Asking Alexandria and it is the first to feature former Make Me Famous guitarist and Down & Dirty frontman Denis Stoff as the band’s new vocalist brought in to fill the huge gap left by former frontman Danny Worsnop.
The most recent single/video release opens the record up in blistering fashion, and ‘Let It Sleep’ is a tune that stamps down the “leaps and bounds” this band have taken towards scaling the metal musical peaks since the parting of their frontman. Title track ‘The Black’ is also instantly infectious as Stoff lays down his marker so wondrously from the off, this is a beautifully crafted tune that combines heavy guitar, screaming vocal patterns and laid back piano passages.
First single from ‘The Black’ released last year, `I Won’t Give In’, is as with other tunes on this specific collection has a certain arena rocking sound with some Linkin Park comparisons surely to be raised, but not here. ‘Sometimes It Ends’ takes off with pure rawking venom, mixing slower atmospheric musical moments with the heavier edge of the group’s make up, but that makes for an interesting listen with the various influential directions the band slide into throughout.
‘The Lost Souls’ highlights for me personally that this recording will endear itself to fanatics of Asking Alexandria both old and new upon perusal of this album. This record will be a sure fire hit obviously with the kids who`ll no doubt love this to death but anybody who appreciates metal should remove the blinkers and absorb this opus for what it is. ‘Just A Slave To Rock ‘N’ Roll’ with its anthemic groove offers up some Slipknot inspiration via its anthemic choral arrangement whilst ‘Send Me Home’ shows a softer delicate side to the band and is quite a moment indeed for Asking Alexandria, providing another tune full of clarity and the studio production from Joey Sturgis gets it perfectly balanced.
‘We’ll Be OK’ and ‘Here I Am’ soldier onwards and upwards in stylish musical fashion. Again a slight departure maybe for what you`d come to expect from this band, but hey, new singer,new direction and influential swing. but let’s not lose sight of the fact that this remains a Asking Alexandria record through and through.
‘Gone’ is a mood fuelled piano and strings slice of balladry that endears itself to the listener, me and you that is, this has a beautiful and simple arrangement but is so meaningful and positive. ‘Undivided’ on the other hand romps it back up a gear but that’s what it`s all about folks, musical diversity on a record. ‘Circled By The Wolves’ again rips one up as it brings the record to a close, and again it keeps up the highest of standards that the compositions herein have maintained.
‘The Black’....but so bright.