Asking Alexandria
The Black


2.5
average

Review

by ExplosiveOranges USER (72 Reviews)
April 5th, 2016 | 82 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Below The American Average.

I could begin this review with a long rant about Asking Alexandria’s career and discography, but to be entirely honest, that just isn’t necessary. All you really need to know is that they went from being a bizarre, “crabcore” band in the vein of Attack! Attack! (Stand Up and Scream) to a generic Bullet For My Valentine clone (Reckless and Relentless) to a slightly less generic BFMV clone (From Death to Destiny). Then, their vocalist Danny Worsnop ended up ditching the band for a different project, leading them to pick up Denis Stoff as their replacement. Now, in 2016, Asking Alexandria have released their first full-length LP since Worsnop’s departure, titled The Black, and it ultimately ends up being an average metalcore album from an average band.

Kicking off with “Let It Sleep”, we have all the basic components that go into Asking Alexandria’s songwriting process: perpetually chugging guitars, a ludicrous amount of vocal layering for both harsh and clean singing, very out-of-place electronic elements thrown in, and of course, breakdowns galore. “The Black” and “I Won’t Give In” are significant improvements despite the heavily simplified guitarwork, mostly because Denis Stoff’s clean vocals actually stand out in the choruses, and the band tries to become a bit more subtle by adding in a decent piano melody towards the end of the former track. In general, Denis Stoff’s vocals are fine for what they are, but the ear-grating amount of gang vocals combined with these annoying “stutters” that get shoved in throughout the music get very tiring very quickly. The production has marginally improved here from the compressed sound of From Death to Destiny, but the mixing feels off due to the irritating amount of vocal layering that takes precedence throughout. Predictably, Ben Bruce’s guitar compositions are more or less identical to those from basically any Asking Alexandria album post-Stand Up and Scream, with the same repetitive, stripped-down melodic death metal-influenced riffs being grinded in alongside a myriad of chugged breakdowns. With all that being said, the slower, less heavy tracks such as “Here I Am” and “Gone” are actually quite pleasant to listen to, with the piano dominating the latter song for maximum effect.

The main problem with The Black is Asking Alexandria’s unwillingness to take risks and go for something substantially different. For all their faults, all three of the band’s previous albums were recognizable and stood out in some way. Here, you have songs like “The Lost Souls”, which sounds like a poor man’s Avenged Sevenfold, and “Send Me Home”, which feels like a rehash of “Someone, Somewhere”. There’s almost nothing here that distinguishes the music from something that you’d hear off of an album by Bring Me The Horizon or Crown the Empire, and that ends up seriously hurting the album in the long run.

Asking Alexandria have always been a pretty controversial band in the metalcore scene, and that isn’t bound to change anytime soon. However, The Black feels like a hugely missed opportunity for the band to move forward and at least try to break the mold that’s been holding them in for so long. Instead, there’s a decent but ultimately unfulfilling album that serves as a final middle finger to their previous vocalist for running out on the band. On the bright side, though, it’s still light years ahead of whatever the hell it is that Danny Worsnop’s been working on for the past year.



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user ratings (383)
Chart.
2.5
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...

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....


Comments:Add a Comment 
ExplosiveOranges
April 4th 2016


4408 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

late to the party, i know, but i wanted to get my opinion out there. thanks to gameofmetal and talonsoffire for proofreading. album is available for streaming on spotify. as always, criticism is welcome.

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
April 4th 2016


11661 Comments


Great write-up man. No desire to hear this though.

Digging: Windswept - The Onlooker

Judio!
April 4th 2016


8434 Comments


Yeah I ain't touching this

Hawks
April 4th 2016


67675 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Rules agreed.

Digging: Cara Neir - Part III / Part IV

NewBallistics
April 4th 2016


863 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Now this is a review I can agree with.

ExplosiveOranges
April 4th 2016


4408 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks fellas. Don't worry judio, you're not missing out on much.

climactic
April 4th 2016


22385 Comments


wtf hawks smh

Hawks
April 4th 2016


67675 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I know right, how dare I dig something that you don't like? They should hang me!

cryptside
April 4th 2016


2397 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Nice read, man. Have this downloaded but haven't gotten around to hearing it yet. Sounds blasé.

climactic
April 4th 2016


22385 Comments


just suprised, didnt think youd like this sort of thing, chill out brohammed

Hawks
April 4th 2016


67675 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hahaha I'm just messing bro. Seriously though, I've dug these guys for a few years now.

SteakByrnes
April 5th 2016


14315 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Very good review, your writing has a nice flow to it. I liked the first half of the album quite a bit, and then it wore thin

Digging: Ithaca - The Language of Injury

BHAR
April 5th 2016


231 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I hate this band.



Nice review.

Tunaboy45
April 5th 2016


16702 Comments


That album art tho


Mind pos

onionbubs
April 5th 2016


10812 Comments


yea album covers fantastic.

Digging: Alexisonfire - Crisis

Toondude10
April 5th 2016


13656 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I enjoyed this album, still though good review

Digging: Dream Theater - Distance Over Time

EvoHavok
April 5th 2016


7677 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I could manage to give this a low 3... Nice review!

Digging: Swallow the Sun - When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light

Danred97
April 5th 2016


1979 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Great review as always, Orange.



The problem with this album is that it's so damn boring. The music is uninteresting, and the lyrics are so whiny. It's just a boring mess of an album.

TheHung89
April 5th 2016


328 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Yeah I listened twice and it's pretty ordinary metalcore that wasn't even that enjoyable

BigPleb
April 5th 2016


57040 Comments


All the praise this is getting confuses me, new vocalist same old boring junzy queef shit.



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