Asking Alexandria
The Black


1.5
very poor

Review

by Zachery Cotto USER (22 Reviews)
March 26th, 2016 | 28 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Refusing to move on and trying to recreate a past that was already bleak to begin with.

Asking Alexandria, a band known for their edgy, teen fanbase and screamo rebellion make a return after the departure of their frontman and vocalist, Danny Worsnop. The Black is Asking Alexandria’s first album without Worsnop and with their newest vocalist, Dennis Stoff. It’s also the band’s first album following any major lineup change period. So understandably there's bound to be some sort of stylistic or musical change with the departure of such an important band member and Asking Alexandria use this entire album to talk about how they’re stronger than ever and that they are eager to start a new chapter with the band while they distance themselves from Worsnop and their past. But do they accomplish what they claim to be doing?

Well, for as much as Asking Alexandria talk about moving on from their previous singer, they spend a striking amount of time insulting and mocking Danny Worsnop on this album. In fact, a number of songs such as “Undivided”, “I Won’t Give In”, “We’ll Be Ok”, and “Circled by Wolves” are devoted to the subject of their old vocalist and in nearly all of theses cases they heavily try to paint him in a negative light. This is clearly evident in the lyrics of the aforementioned track “Circled By the Wolves”:

Step inside ***er
You're next mother***er and you'll see mother***er
You can't *** with me, you're long dead to me
*** yeah!
Our fingers raised in the air, So can you hear me now?
Say my name.
No longer wasting my time.
Your words don't bother me.
I don’t care.
I've come so far, I won't turn away
Let go of the past and live for today
Cheers!
Oh God. I can't believe you thought we couldn't see
You wanted closure - now it's here for you,
*** you


That’s not the only case of them harping on their previous singer’s departure. In the track “Sometimes it Ends” an entire minute of the song's audio is taken from an interview of one of the guitarist as he talks about how pissed he is at their lost band member as he then quickly changes his tune to say, “We need to not focus on him and leave him in the past.”

Their immaturity and consistent indignant nature is easily noticeable in these instances. It’s a childish contradiction to wildly throw stones at someone when the entire topic they’re discussing is distancing themselves from the person they constantly bring up. If they truly cared about moving on from their old vocalist, they wouldn’t find the need to go on these idiotic rants about him. At it’s core this shows a basic lack of fundamentally sound artistry and songwriting. These are less songs and more of a child throwing tantrums.

On top of this, Asking Alexandria show a complete lack of progression musically as well. The Black recycles nearly every trope the band has already bled dry from their previous albums. The band tries too hard to emulate the sounds of their first two records, Stand Up and Scream and Reckless & Relentless in an attempt to recapture their past and make some sort of statement to their old vocalist and their fans. They even go as low as to hamfist in certain references to their old music. “We’ll Be Ok” reuses riffs, structures and vocal melodies from their old track “To the Stage.” “Just a Slave to Rock and Roll” recycles guitar structures from the song, “Not The American Average” and shares the lyrical foundation of the song “Reckless and Relentless.” “Let it Sleep” is the equivalent in sound and concept of “Morte et Dabo.” “Send Me Home” has the exact same message and meaning as one of their last ballad songs “Someone, Somewhere.” “Circled By the Wolves” even opens up with a completely out of place riff that is taken from “To the Stage.” Asking Alexandria seems more content with re-releasing their old albums than they do anything else here. Nearly every song on this record has the same chugging guitars, the same growling screams, and the same awkward synth-interludes that have been present since their debut, and it doesn’t help that their new singer sounds remarkably similar to their old one. They don’t do anything new or different with their music and it’s blatantly obvious that this is their idea of giving a middle finger to their previous vocalist.

There were only two instances where a song on The Black didn’t sound exactly like what they’ve done in the past, the track “Gone” and the title song “The Black.” “Gone” is a poignant piano ballad that is the most musically diverse song on the entire record. “The Black” is a heavy synth-core track that’s more akin to a Bring Me the Horizon song than anything the band has ever released, and it gives a bit of a refresher for the remainder of the album.

Despite this, Asking Alexandria spend a majority of the time on this album acting like a fickle teenager being forced out of a relationship that they refuse to let go of. This entire act of drama they’re putting on is a cheap perversion of what really matters: The music. Lyrically, musically and thematically the band seems to care more about sticking it to their old vocalist than they do creating genuine art.

The Black as an album is best summed up as a mediocre band covering a band that wasn’t great in the first place. It’s an album that represents Asking Alexandria’s insecurities and symbolizes their inability to actually do something new and different with their music. Their old vocalist leaves, they replace him with someone who both sounds exactly like him and has a similar stage name. They say they want to move on, but instead they copy and paste their previous albums’ sounds onto this one. Asking Alexandria have every right to say whatever they want on the subject of their old vocalist. The problem with The Black is that Asking Alexandria throw in lazy, contradicting songwriting, uninspired melodies and reuse every idea they’ve ever made under the guise of something new.



Recent reviews by this author
Dance Gavin Dance Artificial SelectionSlaves Beautiful Death
Fall Out Boy M A N I AVolumes Different Animals
A Lot Like Birds DIVISIDayshell Nexus
user ratings (422)
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...

ParkersCannon (3.5)
Asking Alexandria's first album in their post-Danny Worsnop career is the best work the group has ev...

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

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


Comments:Add a Comment 
Tunaboy45
March 26th 2016


16846 Comments


At least it's better than their older stuff.

Digging: King Krule - Man Alive!

ZachNyeScienceGuy
March 26th 2016


177 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I just realized I never mentioned the constant group chanting on like 70% of the songs. I hate when bands do that, it's so cringey.

TooManyFriends
March 26th 2016


3237 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

yeah there's no way this is good

Cimnele
March 26th 2016


1498 Comments


won't be making the mistake of listening to this

zaruyache
March 26th 2016


21936 Comments


I really hate when they do that awful vocal layering, mixing two types of screams together to make it "ultra br00tal!" hate it in death metal, hate in deathcore, hate it in this. Stahp.

climactic
March 27th 2016


22505 Comments


cool album cover tho

bach
March 27th 2016


16283 Comments


check HIM

Ebola
March 27th 2016


3771 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Disagree hard but good review so cheers

anarchistfish
March 27th 2016


28108 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

harsh



this is alright, if a bit stale

Digging: PJ Harvey - Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea

JigglyPDiddy
March 27th 2016


3721 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

It's not THAT bad. It's their best, though and might even get to be a 3. A first for this band!

SonofSnow
March 27th 2016


1774 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This is the definition of a perfectly okay record.



Man that album art is great though.

JigglyPDiddy
March 27th 2016


3721 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

The album art is stupidly nice.

anarchistfish
March 27th 2016


28108 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

still havent written a song better than dear insanity though

SteakByrnes
March 27th 2016


17124 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Nice review, but I think this is much better than a 1.5. This is the most enjoyable album this band has put out

ohtheurgency
March 27th 2016


115 Comments


The first sentence from the beginning paragraph is a huge turn off from reading the review.

JigglyPDiddy
March 27th 2016


3721 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Reckless had its moments, but as a whole it was a stool standing on one leg. Same goes to SU&S and the one before this one.

BHAR
March 27th 2016


231 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Excellent review, completely agreed.

Hep Kat
March 27th 2016


1231 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

lame nigga shut the fuck up

Tunaboy45
March 27th 2016


16846 Comments


They really need to stop with the vocal layering, just makes the song sound shitty.

anarchistfish
March 27th 2016


28108 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

yeah these choruses are so weak



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy