Asking Alexandria

From Death To Destiny

Written by: LF on 01/10/2013 21:01:17

The metalcore band Asking Alexandria is one of those bands that most metal fans have an opinion of and in my experience it is mostly not a positive one. Based on AA's two previous albums I must say I understand that, but at the same time I may as well admit that their debut is still a major guilty pleasure of mine, although the adolescent attitude, repetitive breakdowns and somewhat stupid lyrics are getting on my nerves as I grow older. I was thus hoping that this third album would bring something new and interesting to the table and indeed it seems my prayers have been heard.

Initially it might seem like nothing has changed: the album opener "Don't Pray For Me" starts in traditional AA fashion with electronic beats and violins followed by a breakdown to kick off the song. This first track also features sound-clips from that fateful show in early 2011 after which vocalist Danny Worsnop vowed to go through rehab, setting the tone for most the lyrical content on the rest of the album. In general the lyrics are more mature and positive than on previous records and circle around dealing with substance abuse and living life to the fullest. "Run Free" is a soaring example of this and makes for the first highlight of the album.

While more mature lyrical content is a relief, what really makes me happy about this album is the fact that the electronic parts that used to seem a bit out of place have been toned down, while a more grounded hard rock sound reminiscent of bands like Mötley Crüe and Guns N' Roses has been incorporated. This shines through especially on the latter half of the record and culminates in a regular hard rock ballad with soaring guitars in the form of "Moving On", the like of which I never thought would come from a band like AA, and the fact that Worsnop sounds exactly like a slightly hoarse version of Bryan Adams on it just adds to the surprise. Go figure.

In general Worsnop's singing has developed to the better over the years and it now has a good robust punch to it similar to that of Andy Biersack of Black Veil Brides, and the fact that Worsnop actually sings even more than he growls on this album really sets that rock-feel in focus compared to earlier records. "The Road" is a definite highlight for me as it seems to capture this distinct mix of metalcore and hard rock particularly well and has Worsnop showcase the wide range of his vocal abilities from those excellent cleans to the beastly growls. Musically it evolves from a focus on the very forward driven beat in the verse to the surprising shift in melody in the chorus, over a very old-school guitar solo to a more traditional AA breakdown towards the end of the song.

Despite these good developments AA still has some way to go. Though it is toned down they still embrace the electronic sound that dominated their first record and at the same time they seem to be stretching in a different direction. It makes for an interesting but unfocused album that has several good songs that points in different directions and thus lacks a sort of red thread to make up a quintessential Asking Alexandria sound.

So to sum up, "From Death To Destiny" makes for an interesting blend of metalcore and solid hard rock and gives us an Asking Alexandria that sounds better and more mature than ever but who still needs to work to weave this new blend properly together.

Download: Run Free, The Death of Me, The Road, White Line Fever, Moving On
For the fans of: Black Veil Brides, blessthefall, Miss May I, Escape The Fate
Listen: Facebook

Release Date 06.08.2013
Sumerian Records

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