Asking Alexandria
Reckless and Relentless


2.5
average

Review

by Mary Paultese USER (35 Reviews)
April 5th, 2011 | 517 replies | 69,701 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Stand up (you look like a crab when you do that) and scream (a lot better than before).

25 of 27 thought this review was well written

Let’s go back one year from today. I was in my junior year of high school, in the height of my “scene” music craze, listening to every breakdown band I could get my hands on. I would play Asking Alexandria’s debut album, Stand Up and Scream, several times a week, and rave to all of my friends about their synth-oriented br00tal-ness. One year later, looking back and feeling like an idiot, I come across their latest release, Reckless and Relentless, and in my newfound elitism and hypocrisy, I decide to check it out. As it turns out, Asking Alexandria managed to abandon a good portion of the gimmicks and monotony that held them back on their debut LP.

The album opens as one would expect, with a faux-orchestra and some synthesized drumming, but as opposed to their previous album opener, Alerion, the explosion into screamed vocals is immediately grabbing. So with the intro track, Welcome, down, I already had relatively high hopes for the rest of the album. There was some screaming about AA being “back again” which could have been spared, but on the bright side, that’s one track down without any forced breakdowns. The next track, Dear Insanity, continues to impress. Although it appears at first to have the typical screamed verse-clean chorus song structure, there is a cleverly placed interlude as well as a much less obvious breakdown than the band is used to, and Danny’s layered screams make it work quite well.

The album has more than a few standout points, the most noticeable of which being Someone, Somewhere, described by guitarist Ben Bruce as “A straightforward slab of radio rock that’s free of breakdowns, screaming and synth breaks” (AP Mag Interview). The song, although holding on to the power chord chugging that AA is known for, highlights Danny’s cleans and features an old-school guitar solo complete with wah-wah, which is, admittedly unimpressive, but ends up working well. The chorus in the fourth track, A Lesson Never Learned is another highlight of the album, where Danny’s cleans are backed by a very uplifting synth section and some “whoa-ohs”. The Match is another track that stood out with a chugging breakdown reminiscent of something Counterparts would do, complete with artificial harmonics.

However, after positive moments like these, AA always seems to resort to the clichés that plague them. Several tracks, The Match included, are well on their way to being completely solid, but randomly transition (if you could call it a transition) into synth breaks that simply have no place. Closure, for example, after a very above-average breakdown (for AA’s standards), returns to a synth section with a techno lead, that eventually builds up into a poppy, melodic chorus. It’s a shame to see the band, who appear to be on to something, throw it all away for decisions like these.

If Asking Alexandria can, in the future, avoid the boring structure of songs like Breathless, and steer clear of cheesy, transition-less synth breaks and continue to improve on the positive aspects, such as Danny’s vastly improved high screams (e.g. Morte et Dabo), they are well on their way to breaking free of the scenecore label and regaining respect in the metalcore community. Reckless and Relentless is one huge step in the right direction, with a couple baby steps back along the way.



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user ratings (984)
Chart.
2.6
average
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • ashpoodle (1)
    Asking Alexandria release perhaps the worst album within this genre - while trying to do s...

    ZSX (1)
    Dull, monotonous breakdown release. Duga dug dug dug....

    P.J. Quinones (2.5)
    Well, I guess it could be worse...right?...

    micaeww (3.5)
    Lost the random trance beats that made them unique, whilst improving they're songs ALOT...

  • Spencer Stoyer (3)
    While it's not the most spectacular thing you'll ever hear, Reckless and Relentless is a f...

    Hovercun7 (4.5)
    After standing up and screaming, Asking Alexandria aren't going to quieten down......

    mas westman (2.5)
    I never believed in you, the way I see it was justified....


Comments:Add a Comment 
pmmets07
April 5th 2011



5865 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I read an interview with Ben Bruce in AP Mag where he talked about how dissatisfied he was with Stand Up and Scream, and how he hates being labeled as a scene band. So that compelled me to listen to the album. It isn't half bad, but it's not something I'd necessarily want in my iTunes library.

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
April 5th 2011



28466 Comments


i got this band's skid row covers EP but every song besides the skid row covers was the worst song i've ever heard.

Digging: Kimbra - The Golden Echo

pmmets07
April 5th 2011



5865 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

yeah, the EP was shit. it has the worst track off this new album

Biffuh
April 5th 2011



1 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Come on, you gotta at least give this a 3.

pmmets07
April 5th 2011



5865 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

anything i don't keep in my iTunes is less than 2.5

for real

climactic
April 5th 2011



18724 Comments


i keep everything

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 5th 2011



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nice review Perry. Very well-balanced. I'm almost tempted to give this a listen on what you said about the highlights here.

pmmets07
April 5th 2011



5865 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

on another note, i always tend to review albums i'm indifferent about. next album i review will be
one of my fives.

thank you very much Davey. honestly, it's not a bad listen. i'd check out some of the tracks i
mentioned on youtube

sspedding
April 5th 2011



4754 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

found this album had a few wannabe 80s hair metal whoa oh's and a couple of whiney solos, this alongside the horrible
'rock and roll' lyrics. Maybe doing that skid row covers EP convinced them to adapt their image a little bit. Having said
that there are still a few curious synth moments which crack me up.

Morte Et Dabo is pretty good but I don't really like anything else.

sspedding
April 5th 2011



4754 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

you will hate it daveyboy, dont waste your time.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 5th 2011



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

but you just said the words "80s hair metal who ohs & solos".

dixoncocks
April 5th 2011



2475 Comments


This surprised me a bit, definitely a step in a better direction

Digging: Polyphia - Muse

sspedding
April 5th 2011



4754 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I dunno though man, none of it is genuine. It is all one size fits all. Leave the 80s style to Blessed By a Broken Heart's new one.

fr33convict
April 5th 2011



11687 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

The review seemed to to lean towards a 3.5 and then suddenly shift in the last paragraph to a 2.5. Try going into a bit more detail on the negative side of the coin. Otherwise nice review dude.

sspedding
April 5th 2011



4754 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

By the way I agree with the improved highs in Morte Et Dabo thought vocally it sounded Black Dahlia Murder esque at first. Good review.

pmmets07
April 5th 2011



5865 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

@fr33 i definitely agree with that. overall i also thought it read more like a 3 than a 2.5. thxxxx for the feedback

LG
April 5th 2011



3049 Comments


Someone, Somewhere and the title track are solid. The rest is kinda meh. Nice review sir.

bloc
April 5th 2011



34780 Comments


There's a release of this with a few remixes on it; I'm a bit curious.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

TheOceanInside
April 5th 2011



439 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

but guise AA is br00t4L!!!!!

bluehaze54
April 6th 2011



50 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

more of a 3 or 3.5

much better than stand up and scream



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