Review Summary: Asking Alexandria have created themselves anew.
Asking Alexandria is a British metalcore band, who quickly got a rise to fame upon their success with their debut effort "Stand Up and Scream". Known for overuse of breakdowns and relying heavily upon rhythm sections and chugging along with painfully terrible lyrics and many techno flourishes, Asking Alexandria has truly made a name for themselves, in a terrible sense of the word. With the release of a third album, Asking Alexandria has shown themselves in a new light.
The album opener "Don't Pray For Me" starts off with something listeners of this band should be used to by now, an electronic beginning, however unlike previous work, this one is much darker, and leads into something new for this band, a guitar riff. With a slow heavy riff, an backtracks of a show in Seattle, where Danny was too drunk to continue playing. The drums soon kick in, and creates a great build up to the slower riff that fills the verse. The vocals have changed greatly, sounding much lower and with a more old Slipknot feel to them, with the cleans sounding like something you would hear in an 80s band. The lyrics in this track alone standout as being much more meaningful and powerful, with Danny's personal thoughts fueling the song. This track is one of the many standout tracks throughout the album, showing Asking Alexandria stayed true to their words about maturing themselves.
Lyrically speaking, this is an album that could best be described as the bands soundtrack throughout the years. Many topics are covered, such as breakups, drug addiction, trying to be the people they want to be, and finding that they miss the life they once had. Each song tells a story whether it be depression(ex. "Killing You", "Don't Pray For Me", "Moving On") to much more happy uplifting songs with a "you can do it" attitude(ex. "Run Free", "Believe"), and the instrumentation benefits the lyrics and the raspier vocals Worsnop presents throughout the album. Lyrical highlight and another album highlight is ballad track "Moving On" where Danny talks about a young boy(presumably himself as a child) wanting to find himself and change the world and maybe help people who need. This shows a side of Asking Alexandria that is much more hard-hitting then one would like to expect.
Instrumentally, this is a much classic metal album, with a few hard rock and 80s rock influences. The guitar riffs are basic, but heavy all the same and the drums are much more following of the rest of the band then in previous efforts. A solid example of this would be found in single and another highlight "The Death Of Me(not the rock mix version), where the instruments are at their absolute best. The breakdown is also much more fluent then in most songs on this album, along with most songs from previous work. Other songs such as "Break Down The Walls" include solos that instead of harming the song with speed and power, are slowed down to actually fit the tempo of the song and lead it into either a powerful breakdown or chorus.
All together, this is a solid release but not with a few cons to weaken it's value throughout. Some tracks don't work to bring power at all, while some sound more filler then meaningful or needed. Tracks such as "Believe" and "Until The End" weaken the impact of the album with mediocre instrumentation or a lazy writing of lyrics. "Until The End" features former Killswitch vocalist Howard Jones, who's spot on this album is completely useless, and actually sounds forced rather then beneficial to the album at all. Danny's vocals in some songs also can be overbearing and useless to the track such as in "Break Down The Walls" where the monotone vocals ruin what could have been another highlight of the album.
-Vocals in some songs such as "Moving On" and "The Death of Me"
-A few filler tracks
-Howard Jones(saddening to say)
-"Until The End"