“I’m haunted by the ghost of my past,” from “Feel,” accurately describes Asking Alexandria’s newest album, Where Do We Go From Here? This is a part of the scene vets’ identity crisis. Once Sumerian Records’ crowning achievement, Asking Alexandria struggles to find footing with their first release under Better Noise Music. A pop, metal, and rock album, Where Do We Go From Here? struggles to encounter any cohesive identity.
This is a top-heavy release, with the most memorable tracks occurring toward the front of the album. “Bad Blood” is a banger, with crazy djent riffs and a superb performance by vocalist Danny Worsnop, giving the listener hope for a new and energized Asking Alexandria. They also seemed to find a cool new version of a breakdown that fits Danny’s voice while interjecting their pop influences.
“Things Could Be Different” is a refreshing track, though it harkens back to “Eve” off their self-titled record. “Let Go” continues the trend, though it sounds rather generic while also sounding like it could be from their past three releases. With “Psycho,” I started losing hope in this album; it sounded soulless and generic.
“Dark Void” is an innovative track and may have saved my opinion of Where Do We Go From Here? Shockingly enough, it is the one song that sounds like a track off of the album they would love to forget, The Black. I am not sure there is a better depiction of this identity crisis; they reluctantly create everything Asking Alexandria does best.
Most of the album is forgettable, minus “Feel.” This track gives me hope for a future Asking Alexandria that leans purely into their pop-metal influences rather than trying to ride the wave of the Papa Roach and Shinedown Octane-core movement. The whisper portion on this track before kicking in is so much fun, and this track would do very well live–whether in arenas or dive bars.
The album’s production is inconsistent, with some songs sounding quite crisp while others sounding rather raw. Another factor affecting the replay value is the songs do not flow well together. Rather than a cohesive journey, I hear three albums with different directions in one. When the album is barely 39 minutes long, it invokes confusion. Matt Good is known for his production ability, but it’s hard not to feel that the combo working together was a misstep.
On Where Do We Go From Here?, Asking Alexandria offers hope in some tracks but frustration in others. Does the British outfit want to be a metalcore, pop, rock, or metal band? They may not even be able to answer the question at this point. ‘AA’ is haunted by the ghost of some highly successful albums and continues to scratch and claw for any of their past success to return. The result is a disjointed mess.
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