Asking Alexandria – “Asking Alexandria” (Sumerian Records)

While original vocalist Danny Worsnop has returned to man center stage for Asking Alexandria, be warned that this is no longer the same band he used to front. Their latest self-titled release shows an evolution in the band’s sound to something much more mature.

If you’re flipping on Asking Alexandria looking to hear the band that released 2009’s Stand Up And Scream and 2011’s Reckless & Relentless, you’re barking up the wrong tree. While the metalcore bones of that Asking Alexandria can be heard throughout the album (“Into The Fire,” “Rise Up,” “Eve,” “I Am One,” “Room 138”), the vast majority of Asking Alexandria shifts the band’s sound to something a little more substantial and less paint-by-numbers (atmospheric synth and fuzzy guitars back Worsnop’s melodic singing on “Alone In A Room,” “Hopelessly Hopeful” and “When The Lights Come On” seem destined for Top 40 charts worldwide, “Vultures” flawlessly introduces acoustic guitar and a slower pace into the mix).

Worsnop has a tendency to himself become a lightning rod in most everything he does and his vocal performance on Asking Alexandria is no different. Worsnop takes aim at everyone who doubted him on “Where Did It Go? (‘So you're all stars now? / So you're what's "in" now? / Top of the world now? / So you're the kings? / There's only one throne and I'm not done with it, still shitting, sleeping, eating, breathing it / Ten years and you're still hanging on my every word with baited breath…Don't have to like it, but you can't deny you needed me / To show you what comes next, what comes next / I've set the standard far too high for you to follow me / Feel free to try your best, try your best’) and even manages to create something entirely different and unexpected on surprise standout “Empire,” which sees him trade bars with Seattle rapper Bingx.

Often times in music, if you’re unwilling to change and adapt with the times then the scene will pass you by and it’s clear that Worsnop and the rest of Asking Alexandria aren’t prepared to let that happen anytime soon. Asking Alexandria is better off with the sonic course correction on Asking Alexandria; hell, we’re all better off for it.   

Go Download: "Rise Up"