The A-team is at it again with their 8th studio album since bursting onto the scene in 2006. With their latest release, Where Do We Go From Here?, Asking Alexandria reinforce that they not only have a legacy worth celebrating but also the enduring talent and innovation to remain at the pinnacle of the genre.
Spanning approximately 40 minutes, the album boasts a collection of 11 meticulously crafted songs. Each track showcases technically intricate guitar chords, expansive vocal ranges, and heart-pounding drum sequences. Additionally, listeners can discern some subtle synthetic influences cleverly woven into the mix. Asking Alexandria, having observed the musical directions embraced by contemporaries like Bad Omens and I Prevail, responds by upping the ante with this exceptional new album. The move leaves us questioning: will their competitors rise to the challenge or take a step back?
“Where Do We Go From Here?” sets the stage powerfully with its opening track, “Bad Blood.” From the very first moment, listeners are met with a heart-stopping drop that seamlessly transitions into a head-banging intro, fueling an adrenaline rush and preparing them for that cathartic confrontation against those who have posed unwarranted challenges in their lives. The defiant chant, “Oh I swear it’s the last fucking time/that I let you let me down,” is not just a line in the song—it’s an anthem we all should be passionately echoing. The track’s intensity is amplified by the profound drumming of James Cassells and the guttural roars of Danny Worsnop. With this song, Asking Alexandria boldly challenges the association of the song title with Taylor Swift, indicating their intent to redefine and claim the title in the hard rock domain.
Their musical prowess doesn’t end there. “Let The Dead Take Me” presents itself as tauntingly riveting, evoking the haunting ambience of “take me to church,” albeit laced with a more ominous emotion. The song begins with a gritty guitar riff, the genius work of both Ben Bruce and Cameron Liddell, drawing the listener in from the first note. As it unfolds, the climax is marked by a captivating call and response chorus, which has an almost hypnotic effect, compelling the listener to be led, almost trance-like, into the metaphorical river of the damned.
“Psycho,” Asking Alexandria’s latest single, masterfully encapsulates the collective anxiety and unease permeating society, all within a concise four-minute frame. Given the tumultuous nature of current times, it’s become increasingly easy to feel one’s sanity slipping, and this track resonates as a timely anthem for those very emotions. The song’s rapid starts juxtaposed with its sludgy decelerations artfully underscore the chaos and manic energy that often engulfs us, while also contrasting it with fleeting moments of serene humanity. In essence, “Psycho” serves as a musical reflection of the oscillating emotional states many experience in today’s world.
Their decision to introduce the album with the single “Dark Void” was nothing short of strategic brilliance. This track not only embodies the essence of the album but also magnificently showcases Danny Worsnop’s versatile vocal prowess, oscillating between deep, guttural growls and soaring mezzo pitches. The powerful undertones provided by Sam Bettley’s bass harmoniously complement the hard-hitting cadences of James Cassells’ drums, creating a sonic texture that’s both robust and nuanced. As the song progresses, its poignant decrescendo in the outro sends mind-numbing chills down the spine of the listener. All in all, selecting “Dark Void” as the preface to their album was an astute choice, one that sets the stage for the auditory journey ahead, and I wholeheartedly applaud their discernment.
“Let Go” stands out as a testament to Asking Alexandria’s ability to incorporate diverse elements into their music. The track captures the listener’s attention immediately with its arresting female vocals, weaving them seamlessly into the fabric of the band’s signature sound. These vocals add a layer of depth and contrast that enriches the overall experience of the song. On the other hand, “Kill it with Fire” is a raw, unrelenting barrage of energy that lasts a mere minute. This track perfectly encapsulates that adrenaline-fueled moment when one spots a spider, evoking a mixture of shock and frantic action. Yet, despite its intense nature, there’s an underlying current of fun and wildness, making it more than just a hard-hitting song. It’s playful in its ferocity, illustrating the band’s ability to blend seemingly contrasting emotions into a single, cohesive track.
The album reaches its emotional zenith with the title track, “Where Do We Go From Here?” This song reaffirms the notion that ballads, with their depth and raw emotion, retain a significant place in the realm of rock music. Underpinned by the soothing rhythms of an acoustic guitar, the track eloquently narrates a heart-wrenching tale that culminates in an orchestral crescendo. The emotional journey it takes the listener on is profound, and by the time the outro arrives, one cannot help but experience a cathartic release, finding themselves scream-sobbing the lyrics in a mix of pain and passion. It’s a testament to the power of music to move the soul deeply.
Over the years, Asking Alexandria has consistently demonstrated their knack for adapting to the evolving landscape of hard rock music, never shying away from reinventing their sound and pushing the boundaries. With every track they produce, they raise the bar even higher, exhibiting a commitment to innovation and musical evolution that few bands possess. Their latest album stands as testament to this dedication. It offers a diverse array of songs that cater to a broad spectrum of listeners, ensuring that fans both old and new will find something that resonates with them. I, for one, am absolutely thrilled to witness the continued ascent and recognition of this dynamic band in the music industry.
Asking Alexandria is gearing up for an extensive co-headlining U.S. tour, joining forces with The HU, Bad Wolves, and Zero 9:36. Set to kick off on August 30, the “Psycho Thunder” tour promises a series of electrifying performances, with stops at prominent festivals like Rocklahoma and Louder Than Life. The tour’s grand finale will take place on October 8 at The Wiltern in Los Angeles, CA. Fans eager for a complete list of tour dates can find them HERE.