Today marks 11 years of Asking Alexandria's iconic album 'Stand Up And Scream', so we're reflecting on its impact - which is still felt to this day.
Every trend has a beginning. Every legacy has a starting point. Every good story has to kick off somewhere. When it comes to modern post-hardcore there are few bands that have a more illustrious tale than Asking Alexandria. Crushing stages across the world and inciting chaos and controversy wherever they step foot, the last 10 years have seen them going from humble beginnings to global stars of the scene. Yet, to understand how things reached the size they are in 2020, you have to go back to the start. Back to when Asking redefined and reinvigorated a genre nearly singlehandedly.
You have to go back to 'Stand Up And Scream'.
Released on September 15, 2009 via Sumerian Records, 'Stand Up And Scream' was a statement of intent from a band that came out of absolutely nowhere. Blending riffs so perfectly executed and razor sharp that they could slice diamonds with breakdowns so desolate that they could make the most stoic of listeners want to punch their best mate in the face and electronic refrains that wouldn't sound out of place belting out of the soundsystems of the Europe's biggest clubs, it featured a sound so tightly wound and wonderfully technical that it was hard not to get caught up in the scale of it all.
You have 'The Final Episode (Let's Change Channel)' acting as the metalcore equivalent of 'Mr Brightside', 'Hey There Mr Brooks' which gets heavier and heavier as each pummeling second passes by and 'A Prophecy' which simmers with gorgeous EDM textures before delivering one hell of a brutal finale. Throw in there the all-consuming power of 'If You Can't Ride Two Horses At Once...You Should Get Out Of The Circus', party-starting bounce of 'When Everyday's The Weekend' and sporadic 'A Candlelit Dinner With Inamorta' and you have an album that is as intricate as it is expansive. As guttural as it is melodic. As measured as it is cathartic. It's a collection of songs that takes influence from what has come before but instead of sticking to the book rips out the pages and pens its own rules. Accessible enough without watering down its intensity, it's an album that played a huge part in introducing thousands to heavy music and opened up a whole new world of music to those who may not have been aware of it before.
Even though you may not realise it immediately, the reverberations of 'Stand Up And Scream' can still be felt coursing through the scene even now. The way that the band completely perfected their craft so early on to make a sound that's so simple yet so utterly effective made it impossible for other bands cutting their teeth to ignore. Every band who attempt to deliver an inch perfect breakdown and synchronized headbang combo while thrashing about on stage have Asking to thank. Every artist daring to combine styles that may or may not be able to co-exist on paper have AA to thank for opening the floodgates. Though the band have adapted and matured in the years that have followed its release, their debut still holds a special place within the history of modern post-hardcore and within the history of the band. Love it or hate it, you simply couldn't ignore it.
Helping Asking to launch themselves into the stratosphere while also going to places that few dared before, 'Stand Up And Scream' serves as a barometer for how far things have come and will continue to until that microphone hits the ground for the last time.