Asking Alexandria - The Black
Stretching back through the history of music as we know it, bands, especially in rock and metal, change singers like a person changes their underwear. Daily. England's own Asking Alexandria are no exception. After the release of their last record From Death To Destiny and the ensuing promotion and tour, lead singer Danny Worsnop wanted out. Wanting more a traditional rock sound from the band, he left under a cloud to form the more classically rock orientated supergroup We Are Harlot.
As with every great movie everybody likes a good underdog story, so were Asking Alexandria going to withdraw from the public eye and retreat, or swing for the fences and give it their all? Well with The Black, the resulting album, Asking Alexandria have gone ahead and done what Judas Priest did in the early 90s, and replace a singer with someone who sang covers of said bands songs. In comes Denis Stoff, formerly of Ukranian metalcore bands Make Me Famous and Down & Dirty essentially unknown, save for a few YouTube covers. This is essentially a massive gamble for a band of this calibre, but happily for all the singer fits in well with the group, working his fine set of pipes around each every word and song. The band are all on top form here; you can hear the anger, the venom, the bile spewing from your speakers.
So onto the actual album, is it any good? Firstly, this is without a shadow of a doubt, a break up album. The venom that spews from Stoffs mouth via Ben Bruce's impassioned lyrics is something to behold. Take for example, lyrics on 'Undivided' ("I told you once and I wont say it again / You never meant a thing to me / A means to an end"), these are sung and screamed with a new found passion, no holding back, no cowering away, a call to arms and a cleaning of the slate if you will.
All the bells and whistles that you expect from Asking Alexandria are present and correct, from the buzz saw guitars to the frenetic free form keyboards and programming from de facto leader Ben Bruce. If anybody had any doubt that the band were set for a fall and were going to disappear they were sadly mistaken. This album is Asking Alexandria at the peak of their powers, new singer as well. This is the album the bands career needed to propel themselves forward and get noticed more, and certainly their best so far. When these guys tour near you, go out there and support them. They've the passion and fire to reach the next level in no time at all. The Black is that good.