(7/10) Asking Alexandria's new album became a pretty dark one, at least the artwork doesn't express a very positive atmosphere and naming the disc "The Black" doesn't sound like flower-power either.
The UK-based five piece uses the album as an outlet for seeping rage in combination with many melodic moments, something that is well reflected in the opener "Let it Sleep".
I think I mentioned it in one of my earlier reveiw, metalcore doesn't belong to my most favorite styles in metal. Often it ends up in monotonous noise assaults but there are some moments/bands that add some more variation to their sound. Asking Alexandria is one of these groups.
The five-piece found a balance between aggressive shouts and riffs on the one side and melodic moments with clean vocals, supported by keyboards, on the other. For me, this works as a constant contrapoint; something that makes "The Black" to an entertaining record.
Actually the titletrack is a good example with its silent section in the middle part. After a big chorus the songs runs through a reduction phase. Only piano and clean vocals are taking over before the tunes slowly builds up again.
"Just a Slave to Rock'n'Roll" is done in a similar way while the grooving monster "We'll be OK", with the double bass, is belonging to the heavier tunes on "The Black".
Again, Asking Alexandria's newest release might by too much mainstream for true metalcore fans and sometimes even I thought they overdid it a bit (e.g. the cheesy ballad "Gone"), but this release also opens up the band's sound for potential new fans. So, whay not...
- Let It Sleep
- The Black
- I Won't Give In
- Sometimes It Ends
- The Lost Souls
- Just A Slave To Rock 'n Roll
- Send Me Home
- We'll Be OK
- Here I Am
- Circled By The Wolves
Label: Sumerian Records
Release Date EU: March 25th, 2016