Release Date: October 1, 2021 Genre: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal Label: Better Noise Music
The British rock/metal five-piece Asking Alexandria have recently announced their signing with Better Noise Music and their first release with their new label, See What's On The Inside. Their seventh full-length effort went back to their roots and immediately reignited the passion the five-piece had for making music. The album is void of frills and cheap tricks, just Danny Worsnop singing at his best, with Ben Bruce, Sam Bettley, Cameron Liddell, and James Cassells playing their instruments as hard and loud as they possibly can. See What's On The Inside was written and recorded earlier this year in a house in Franklin, Tennessee, where the band's five members hunkered down to get the album done. Once again, Asking Alexandria tapped Matt Good (From First to Last, The Word Alive) to produce the record.
See What's On The Inside begins with the album's only single to date, "Alone Again." As well as the song's intro track. "Alone Again" showcases the band's maturity straight out of the gate. However, one of the heavier tracks on the album, it's powerful. The single is guitar-driven with its fun, thrashy riffs and those ear-catching guitar solos. The chorus is also infectious without end. Worsnop's performance is also worth noting. Void of screams, Worsnop delivers a powerful performance with his strong, sustained cleans. The album's second track, "Faded Out," features a fun, melodic guitar part that recurs throughout. Worsnop pushes his voice hard on this particular number doing some screaming and one part where he screams at a high rate of speed. "Never Gonna Learn" is guitar-heavy with its distorted, down-tuned riffs but features a strong '80s-style hard rock sound with whistling incorporated into it to give it some textures of pop mixed in.
In "If I Could Erase It," Asking Alexandria do something different than the album's first three tracks. At first, you won't know that it's the heaviest track off See What's On The Inside. While the band has never been shy to dabble in rock and hard rock, this is the first album to do so from start to finish. "If I Could Erase It" is endlessly hard rock, until approximately just after the two-minute mark, where the song explodes with a massive metal breakdown packed with chugging guitar, screams, and heart-pounding drum beats. "Find Myself" follows "If I Could Erase It" and is the album's most profound number. It opens with a sluggish, methodical, drawn-out intro with soft vocals and little instrumentals. The song picks up to put a spotlight on some harder rock elements. The track itself is about killing your old self and finding your true self. The song's intended emotion can be felt in every second of this nearly five-minute-long number. "Find Myself" closes out with a beautiful but extremely heart-wrenching sounding string arrangement.
The album's title track, "See What's On The Inside," is melodic, slow, and compelling. A recurring theme on this record is pushing yourself into the future, taking risks, and becoming your true self. On "See What's On The Inside," the band showcases all of this -both in its lyrics and sound. It's also the record's most layered number. The intro has some pop elements mixed around the slower, melodic guitar. As the track develops, Worsnop puts his all into his vocal performance. "See What's On The Inside" features one of my favourite guitar solos on the album -as both Bruce and Liddel perform a duelling guitar composition. Lastly, the song features some piano in the bridge as well. "Fame" features plenty of punchy guitar riffs and overall is a pretty angry-sounding number, especially from those harsh vocals featured on the track from Worsnop. The album-closing tune, "The Grey," is another different track, unlike the previous nine. Featuring those thrashy guitar riffs heard on "Alone Again," the track is a little experimental, but in quite a good way. The mix of a vocal choir with additional backing vocals from Bruce is a different touch and can be heard around the track's hard rock sound. Two-thirds into "The Grey," the song gets atmospheric with dark and menacing vocals. It's a fun and wonderful number to close the album out.
The first documentation of Asking Alexandria going rock came as early as 2010 with their two Skid Row covers, "Youth Gone Wild" and "18 And Life," which featured on their Life Gone Wild EP. Throughout the last few full-length albums, Asking Alexandria has been slowly shifting into a more hard rock sound, and it was inevitably going to lead to a full-on rock album from the band at some point, and that time is now. See What's On The Inside is an exciting change and push forward for Asking Alexandria's ever-evolving sound. There are no filler songs on the band's seventh album, and each of the songs stand out as their own. If you've been enjoying the last few Asking Alexandria albums, the push into a full rock album won't be a huge shock, but if you still expect the metalcore/post-hardcore from the band, you're out of luck. Be sure to preorder/presave the album before October 1st here.