Sometimes change goes unnoticed, merely adding an element that nobody can quite describe. Other times it fuels harsh criticism and deep nostalgia. In Asking Alexandria’s third full length album, Reckless and Relentless, both transformations blended for a slightly unsettling, yet moderately enjoyable album.
The pre-released song, Morte et Dabo, gave undeserving hope to those with an obsession for Asking Alexandria’s harsh breakdowns and talented high screams. Although it gave a new perspective to the band, it is still quite different from the general sound of the album. Deserving or not, audiences expect consistency from a band. This unrealistic expectation is often crushed, but can be reconsidered when altered aspects outweigh previous antics.
The intro, Welcome, begins with a melodic, synthesized orchestra and breaks into screamed to vocals. At this point, I was not yet disenchanted. The balance of screamed vocals and clean vocals was relative to expectations in most of their songs, such as: Closure, A Lesson Never Learned, To The Stage, Breathless, and The Match. However, the other few songs were a grave upset, lacking the intense breakdowns and screamed vocals that were desired. Even in the songs with the optimal balance, the clean vocals were quite different from their previous album. It may be the band simply developing into their niche, but some are left unimpressed.
Lack of enjoyment may be in part the listener’s fault. Most bands will not remain identical for their entire career. Asking Alexandria was a fairly new band, and change in style should have been expected. Despite criticism of their “generic” tactics, they add a unique sound to the metal-core/ post-hardcore genre and have hooked many fans worldwide. They will be playing on the main stage this year at Warped Tour, and despite results from some of their other concerts, are expected to have a loyal audience.
Overall Rating- The awkward mark between satisfactory and pleasant.