“Rock is dead? That’s fake news. Asking Alexandria is all the evidence we need” goes the opening promo for Asking Alexandria’s new album Asking Alexandria. Maybe those opening lines should have read if “early 2000’s Nu Metal is dead”, instead. The fifth studio album from the northern team, Asking Alexandria, has been billed as an “unbridled celebration of acceptance… instead of struggling for conformity” that celebrates the uniqueness of the individual. However, it just so happens to be a mediocre and, ironically, slightly uniformed struggle against conformity.
Opening with “Alone in a Room”, Asking Alexandria sets up the album as it means to go on. The song is smothered with drum beat, repetitive guitar riffs, and a tempo that jumps somewhere between an allegretto and allegro that forces out the lyrics half the time; when we do get them there is a distinct whininess to it, a you-don’t-know-my-pain vibe that, while something many of us went through as teenagers, is not something we like to be reminded of at 20 plus.
The lead single, ‘Into The Fire’, complete with Sin City aesthetic style music video, is more of the same. Guitar distortions and heavy drum beats drown out the rest of the arrangement while lyrics are screamed down the mic, no doubt to represent the soul shattering angst of whatever returning vocalist, Danny Worsnop was singing about.
There are some exceptions to the rule, “Under Denver” and “Empire” change up the arrangement and tempo but the rest of the album blurs into one long angsty scream and drum beat that drowns out any harmony.
No doubt Asking Alexandria has a loyal following, so my criticism should mean little to both the band and the fans, but for me the album is lacklustre, with too much buried under heavy beats and screaming vocals that mask any form of harmony.
Asking Alexandria is out now on Sumerian Records.