ALBUM REVIEW: Asking Alexandria – ‘Like A House On Fire’

Words by Sam Townsend – Melting Wax Photography

It has been a busy 12 months for British five-piece Metalcore group Asking Alexandria.  Despite keeping busy with extensive tour dates supporting both Shinedown and Papa Roach, Asking Alexandria released the first taste of the forthcoming 6th studio album in July 2019 with single The Violence and followed this up with an early Christmas present in early December 2019 with the re-release of their 2017 self-titled album which included six new tracks.  Since February 2020, a further three tracks have been released (They Don’t Want What We Want, Antisocialist, and Down to Hell) in anticipation of the May 15 release of ‘Like A House On Fire’ (Sumerian Records).

Asking AlexandriaBen Bruce (guitar, backing vocals), Danny Worsnop (lead vocals), James Cassells (drums), Cameron Liddell (guitar) and Sam Bettley (bass) – return with Matt Good as producer once more to deliver a 15-track record filled with their signature blend of metal and electronic, infused a healthy dose of stadium rock grandiose.

Title track House on Fire is the big opener and everything we’ve come to expect (and love) about Asking Alexandria – big drums, big guitars, and big vocals, and sets the tone of the album.  This energy carries over to They Don’t Want What We Want where the presence of every band member can be felt non stop; its intensity, its screams, its guttural guitars.  Down to Hell and Antisocialst follow and are both raucous rock anthems, heavy with guitars and catchy melodies – the latter of which has clocked up over 2 million Spotify streams and YouTube views.

The tempo considerably slows on I Don’t Need You for a heartfelt duet with Grace Grundy and delivers a vulnerable harmony, marking a much more mature sound than previously heard from Asking AlexandriaAll Due Respect follows in the same vein – its a slower tempo with a more seasoned sound and lyrics to match.

On Take Some Time and One Turns to None we hear stadium rock blended with undertones of electronica, seductive vocals and entertaining drum lines, whilst It’s Not Me (It’s You) is energetic, electronic rock and illustrates Worsnop’s growing vocal control.

‘Like A House on Fire’ is rounded out by the first single released from the album, The Violence, and closer LorazepamThe Violence is an interesting mix of arena and hard rock and pop and picks up where 2017’s self titled album left off – it’s a great track!  Lorazepam follows with a similar sound, though it rather abruptly (and softly) ends, not really giving the finality the album deserves.

‘Like A House On Fire’ shows Asking Alexandria haven’t lost their edge; rather they’ve built on 2017’s self titled album (which marked a stylistic departure from their previous albums) and expanded their musical capacity.  A more mature sound (as the band stated recently: “we’ve grown up”), the album contains songs of celebration, determination, and resilience.  And whilst it may be a departure from the heavier stylings of earlier albums, the steady evolution of their sound is still very much valid and has resulted in an album which fans will no doubt place on high rotation.

Like countless other bands, Asking Alexandria had to cancel all upcoming tour dates (announced as a world tour) with supports Falling in Reverse and Wage War, which although disappointing in itself (though completely understandable in the current climate!), seems especially so as ‘Like A House On Fire’ feels as though it was an album written for a tour – best played loud and with loads of people singing along.  Here is hoping for some rescheduled dates in 2021!

Asking Alexandria’s ‘Like A House On Fire’ is out via Sumerian Records on May 15.

Pre-order the album here

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With thanks to Cult Logic

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