Asking Alexandria
The Black


3.5
great

Review

by ParkersCannon USER (13 Reviews)
March 25th, 2016 | 117 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Asking Alexandria's first album in their post-Danny Worsnop career is the best work the group has ever put forth.

When a familiar vocalist departs from his/her band, the general consensus is that the replacement will never be as good as whoever came before, and that stirs up more invocations of comparison than most would prefer. With this kind of standard, you could replace a singer with Jesus Christ, and fans of the former vocalist would still be dissatisfied. I don't think that will be the case with The Black, the fourth full-length studio album from Yorkshire metalcore outfit Asking Alexandria, and more notably, their first without founding frontman Danny Worsnop. The question was could the group even continue, let alone make music that transcends the Asking Alexandria of old. The answer to both those questions is a resounding yes.

Leaning more towards their metalcore roots, The Black has a head of steam from the opening seconds onward. Former Make Me Famous vocalist and guitarist Denis Shaforostov is making his recorded debut here, and he proves not only can he hang with Worsnop with both cleans and uncleans, he can even surpass the 'standard' (for lack of a better word) that Worsnop left behind. Shaforostov's uncleans are vicious, particularly on opening track 'Let it Sleep' and his ascending cleans are on full display on the title track. While the veteran instrumentalists behind Shaforostov are very much so playing metalcore, there are traces of other influence. The chorus on the title track sounds eerily similar to what you would hear on Bring Me the Horizon's 2013 album Sempiternal. Shaforostov's exacting uncleans carry the verses and his superb cleans carry the choruses, as the song ends with a graceful piano respite.

Single 'I Won't Give In', the first taste listeners got of the new look Asking Alexandria, is a middle of the road track. Standard metalcore conventions are pretty prosaic here, but the execution is solid, and it's hard to argue with that. Not only is Danny Worsnop hinted at, his name is invoked to start 'Sometimes it Ends', as lead guitarist Ben Bruce discusses the musical input he gave to this record, before the actual song begins. Staying congruous with earlier tracks, we see a screamed verse, sung chorus pattern that once again is effectuated with great results. 'Send Me Home' opens with a mellifluous riff and Shaforostov's cordial performance with clean vocals. 'Here I Am' opens in somewhat similar fashion. One of just four songs off The Black to not feature explicit lyricism, it opens with some resonant lyrical content ("I'm unashamed of my mistakes/I walked the path I had to take"), and Shaforostov does more wailing in the choruses. Furthermore, 'Here I Am' is probably my least favorite track off of this record, but the rest of the album collectively is nothing short of impressive.

Asking Alexandria's recorded debut without Danny Worsnop actually turns out to be better than anything Worsnop put out during his tenure with the group. The album sees a new vocalist conjure up the older roots of a group onced plagued by typical metalcore conventions holding them back. Now they've branched out, in more ways than one, and the end result is a very cohesive record. The bedrock and even the highlight of this record is Shaforostov's performance behind the microphone. Rather than trying to mirror or channel his predecessor, he sees fit to outstrip Worsnop, and because of it, he should soon be fully embraced as this group's future, by fans and detractors alike. In summation, The Black is the best work of Asking Alexandria's career, and in retrospect, it's not that surprising.



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user ratings (425)
2.6
average
other reviews of this album
William21 (3.5)
Unlike some of their peers, Asking Alexandria decides to mostly stick to their heavier roots, and it...

Zachery Cotto (1.5)
Refusing to move on and trying to recreate a past that was already bleak to begin with....

AshleyScared (3)
Fresh new vocalist, stale formula....

ExplosiveOranges (2.5)
Below The American Average....


Comments:Add a Comment 
bloc
March 25th 2016


60126 Comments


inb4 The Blacks

Sinternet
March 25th 2016


21786 Comments


how many times did you need to use a thesaurus to write this review?

Digging: Dua Lipa - Future Nostalgia

Intothepit
March 25th 2016


3962 Comments


This review is as clunky as it gets.

Hey Parker, what's a good synonym for "clunky?"

brettgoespunk
March 25th 2016


316 Comments


good album. OK review, pos'd, but too many big words,

Aftertheascension
March 25th 2016


3565 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is a review on a music website, not a united nations proposal. Cool it with the over extravagant vocabulary.



Other than that, good review. Pos.

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
March 25th 2016


57157 Comments


lol at dummies complaining about vocabulary


Digging: Hot Mulligan - you'll be fine

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
March 25th 2016


57157 Comments


BIG WORDS ARE SCARY ALL I UNDERSTAND ARE BREAKDOWNS AND SCREAMS

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
March 25th 2016


57157 Comments


"this is a review on a music website, not a united nations proposal. Cool it with the over extravagant vocabulary."

UN stuff tends to be pretty plainspoken because it has to be translated to like 90 different languages dude

bach
March 25th 2016


16286 Comments


at least the cover is cool i guess

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
March 25th 2016


16471 Comments


""this is a review on a music website, not a united nations proposal. Cool it with the over extravagant vocabulary."

UN stuff tends to be pretty plainspoken because it has to be translated to like 90 different languages dude"

shut up both of you.


Digging: Ocoeur - Everything

Gameofmetal
Emeritus
March 25th 2016


10738 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

i felt like he overdid it a couple times but it's not that big a deal, actually seemed like quite an improvement over his light up the sky review at a glance

trackbytrackreviews
March 25th 2016


3421 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

the snop

LosProfetas
March 26th 2016


74 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I really like the sound of this album, but man the lyrics are pretty bad at times.

Ebola
March 26th 2016


3792 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

what the fuck this is actually kind of awesome

their new vocalist is pretty great

ParkersCannon
March 26th 2016


77 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hey, when high school teachers and college professors beat your head in with spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors, after a while you tend to apply as much perfection into all your writing, both for education and leisure.

AndreBourbeau
March 26th 2016


81 Comments


"mellifluous" that's a good one

JigglyPDiddy
March 26th 2016


3721 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

the snop [2]

Sinternet
March 26th 2016


21786 Comments


i mean there's using standard grammar and there's bloating your writing with unnecessary sophisticated lexis

don't get me wrong the review is good but some of the lexical choices tend to disrupt the flow, such as this part in the second paragraph: 'Staying congruous with earlier tracks, we see a screamed verse, sung chorus pattern that once again is effectuated with great results. 'Send Me Home' opens with a mellifluous riff and Shaforostov's cordial performance with clean vocals.'

SIIMBOLIC
March 26th 2016


1332 Comments


So they're starting a trend of frontmen with retarded names

Kronzo
March 26th 2016


1303 Comments


the snop [3]



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