Many questions were asked surrounding the future of British metalcore flag-bearers Asking Alexandria when they parted ways with frontman Danny Worsnop, primarily around how they could continue having lost such a captivating frontman as Worsnop. However, the UK shredders took time out, regrouped and brought in Denis Stoff to fill his imposing shoes. The Black is the first fruits of this new relationship and new chapter for the band. So, how does it stack up?
Well, Stoff wastes no time in stamping his mark on proceedings with his mix of harsh/clean vocals sitting comfortably alongside the electronica-inspired metalcore dished up by the band. Early BMTH-era Oli Sykes springs to mind as Stoff screams his way through “Let It Sleep” and “Lost Souls” peppering his throat-ripping harsh style with pristine cleans complimenting the layers of electronics drenching this album.
It won’t take long for Stoff to win over fans who were worried for the future of the band with all doubts banished as the record starts to shift through the tracks with material like “Just A Slave To Rock N’ Roll,” “Undivided” and “We’ll Be OK” showing how the group, rather than ditch the past and start afresh with Stoff, have simply grabbed all the best bits of their sound and rolled it into one album. You get plenty for your money here from blasts of anthemic hard rock to waves of atmospheric electronics to the pit-damaging metalcore.
While there is no doubting that Stoff and Asking Alexandria appear to be a perfect match, there are the odd moments where the band lose the momentum they’ve built up as they head down the modern metal ballad route. Now, while there is nothing fundamentally wrong with “Send Me Home,” when placed in the middle of this modern metalcore soundtrack, the pure cheese tossed out by the band somewhat takes the bite out of what is, on the whole, a welcome return for the British metalcore troop.
01. Let It Sleep
02. The Black
03. I Won’t Give In
04. Sometimes It Ends
05. The Lost Souls
06. Just A Slave To Rock ‘n Roll
07. Send Me Home
08. We’ll Be OK
09. Here I Am
12. Circled By The Wolves
Run Time: 47:43
Release Date: March 25, 2016
Check out the track “Let It Sleep”.