Over just five albums, Asking Alexandria have climbed to the top of the modern metalcore pile and conquered both the underground and the mainstream. One the eighth anniversary of the release of their second album 'Reckless & Relentless', we look back at their journey up 'til now.
'STAND UP AND SCREAM'
Following a complete line-up change after Ben Bruce moved back to England from Dubai and a couple more ebbs and flows along the way, the band that we know today released their debut album in 2009. Pulling together the brutality of post-hardcore and euphoria of EDM to tread a path not many were confident enough to attempt, the likes of the overwhelmingly brutal ‘The Final Episode’, devastating ‘Hey There Mr Brooks’ and brilliantly titled ‘If You Can’t Ride Two Horses At Once… You Should Get Out Of The Circus’ are now carved into metalcore folklore and will be forever more.
'RECKLESS AND RELENTLESS'
Once everybody else had caught up with the genre-busting sound of the debut, Asking were already onto the next step at the beginning of 2011. Using their music videos to tell the very real story of what the limits of excess and access in a band can result in, there was much more substance to the overall story on here than anything that had come before. This sophomore effort kept the basic blueprint from ‘Stand Up And Scream’ but threw in some Sunset Strip swagger for good measure and sounded all the richer for it. The result is an album that shimmers with character yet still packs a serious punch. Find someone who wouldn’t mosh to ‘A Lesson Never Learned’, we dare ya.
'FROM DEATH TO DESTINY'
Trading in some of the cocksure attitude of Mötley Crüe that ‘R&R’ exuded for some of the whisky-drenched rock and roll feeling of Aerosmith, the band’s third effort ventured further away from their post-hardcore roots and more into arena rock territory back in 2013. Don’t worry though; there are still plenty of pit-bothering moments. So you’ve got the balladry of ‘The Road’ and huge hooks of ‘Killing You’ rubbing shoulders with the pummelling ‘Run Free’ and hearty ‘Poison’ to create the band’s most varied and accessible record to date.
After the departure of Danny Worsnop and addition of Denis Stoff as replacement on vocals, Asking’s sound started to shift a little bit back to their roots in . Heavy, heartfelt and at times harrowing, ‘The Black’ brought together a bit of everything that got the band to where they were and ran into the sunset with it with plenty of electronic emotion and blistering riffing to boot.
With Danny back in the fold, 2017 was when the most dramatic of sound shifts in the whole of Asking’s career took place. Substituting heaviness in sound for heaviness in subject matter, the band’s self-titled record takes cues from pop, hard rock, electronica and metal to create an audio experience that feels familiar but is ultimately fresh. From the anthemic buzz of ‘Into The Fire’ through to the beautiful stomp of ‘Rise Up’, and not forgetting the daring ‘Empire’, this is AA at their most inspired and interesting.
With a career this varied and a passion for music still burning as brightly as when they first pick up their instruments, Asking Alexandria could head in absolutely any direction in the future. It’s going to be a hell of a ride either way.