Asking Alexandria's fourth studio album, The Black, is the first album to feature their new front man, Denis Stoff! The album was released on March 25, 2016 and this review was done on the day of its release!
The first single, "I Won't Give In" actually came out in May of 2015, just to give fans a taste of what Denis sounded like. The song is incredibly beautiful, and actually speaks of watching someone slowly give up, and you don't want to let that happen. A lot of fans actually didn't like it at first because Denis sounds so different from former singer, Danny Worsnop, but I personally think its a great song, and Denis sounds wonderful.
The album starts off however with, "Let It Sleep", which actually starts off the album on a heavy note, which is keeping to the classic Asking Alexandria sound. "My evil thoughts can't hide and I am objected by all my...There's not a thing you can do." As soon as I heart that lyric, I instantly thought they should do a music video for this song. It sets itself up for a very dark and badass video.
Honestly, I want to talk about the entire album, but since its brand new, I want to avoid giving the entire thing away. So, I will just talk about some of my favorites, and encourage you to listen to it for yourself.
Let me start off by saying this though, Asking Alexandria has not lost their touch. Many people have been quite harsh toward Denis, but frankly, I really like the dynamic he brings to the table. I've followed Asking's work for several years now, and this album is up there with some of the band's best work, in my opinion.
Its heavy, but in a beautiful melodic way, and I really like how Denis' voice ties in with it all. A lot of it sounds like it would be badass live, and would definitely inspire a ton of mosh pits. Hands down though, my favorite track is "Here I Am."
"Here I Am" is kind of like Denis' introduction to the world. Given the fact that this is his first album with the band, this couldn't be a more perfect track. Its not only perfect timing, its just a beautiful song where he just lays it all out there, and it would work for anyone who just wants to show the world who they are and what they've got. Its full of beautiful lyrics like, "I'm not ashamed of my mistakes. I walk the path I have to take, its made me who I am today." and . "So take this chance, don't back down. Take a stand and never let them bring you down." Its just a beautiful, inspiring song, so it had to be mentioned!
A couple other songs I feel compelled to bring up are, "Sometimes It Ends", and "The Lost Souls." "The Lost Souls" is getting an honorable mention because its actually just incredibly badass, and a little creepy at the beginning. The little girl humming in the beginning was a great touch, and this one needs a music video for it.
"Sometimes It Ends" on the other hand, actually did something I've never heard of before. They decided to have Ben Bruce speak up at the beginning and end of the song, and he starts off by saying he didn't want this to be about Danny. Danny was in the past, and is onto different things, so he and Denis sat down and re-wrote the entire album. On some level, its a bit concerning they felt compelled to explain themselves, but at the same time, I appreciate the commentary. The song itself is also beautiful by pointing out that things do end sometimes, but that's okay. He also goes on at the end to say he is happy and grateful for everything, but this album wouldn't have happened the way it did had Denis not told him to "Stop being a pussy." Classic Ben there.
This is honestly an great album, and you definitely should go check it out. Even if you weren't previously a fan, you may just be impressed by the changes. Its still AA as they've always been, but with a fresh new twist. You can go pick up the album now on iTunes or wherever music is sold!
Also keep in mind that starting April 5, they will be touring in Australia with Blessthefall and Buried In Venom. Then they come over to the US to perform at many, many fesitvals, such asWelcome To Rockville, Fort Rock, Carolina Rebellion, Northern Invasion, Rock On The Range, and the Chicago Open Air Festival. All of these stops happen while on the second leg of the British Invasion tour with Bullet For My Valentine.
Further information can be found on the respective festival websites and of course, Asking Alexandria's official website.
All reviews have the date they were written, the album title, and the band's name, with the exception of Life Starts Now by Three Days Grace and Dear Agony by Breaking Benjamin. Those dates were guessed at, as they were written well before the website began.