Asking Alexandria – Like a House on Fire

Rating: 4/5
Distributor/label: Sumerian Records
Released: 2020
Buy Album: https://www.askingalexandria.com/
Band Website: https://www.askingalexandria.com/

Band line-up:

Danny Worsnop – Lead vocals
Sam Bettley – Bass
Cameron Liddell – Rhythm guitar
James Cassells – Drums
Ben Bruce – Lead guitar, backing vocals

Tracklisting:
  1. Like a House on Fire
  2. They Don’t Want What We Want (And They Don’t Care)
  3. Down to Hell
  4. Antisocialist
  5. I Don’t Need You
  6. All Due Respect
  7. Take Some Time
  8. One Turns To None
  9. It’s Not Me (It’s You)
  10. Here’s to Starting Over
  11. What’s Gonna Be
  12. Give You Up
  13. In My Blood
  14. The Violence
  15. Lorazepam
Review

‘Like a House on Fire’, released 15th May 2020, is Asking Alexandria’s sixth studio album, released via Sumerian Records.

After the return of front man Danny Worsnop, who had left the band in 2015 to pursue other musical endeavours, Asking Alexandria released their fifth studio-album, ‘Asking Alexandria’, which many fans felt was a little disjointed.

“Our last record was a lot of reconnecting, re-bonding and relearning from each other,” says guitarist Ben Bruce. “On this new record, we were 100 percent comfortable again. We were totally on the same page, and it was very easy and natural to come together and create magic from a place that was familiar and confident.” Via Billboard.

Now, in 2020, Asking Alexandria have returned with their sixth studio album, which feels like a real return to form, now that the band have found their familiar footing with one another, and produced a solid piece of work and it is a breath of fresh air. ‘Like a House on Fire’ is the first album from the band to be done under a sober influence, which is reflective of the band’s ability to grow and change, while still producing the same punchy riffs and gritty songs that we have all come to know and love.

Title track ‘Like a House on Fire’ kicks things off, and we are pulled straight away into the familiar sound of Asking Alexandria. Aggressive, punchy and anthemic chanting coupled with an onslaught of heavy guitar riffs. The track feels and serves as more of an introduction to the album, rather than fully fleshed track, and that’s all it needs to be; an indication, a warning of the approaching storm. ‘They don’t want what we want (And they don’t care!)’ continues our journey into ‘Like a House on Fire’ without missing a beat. The intro keeps the heart rate going, then softens down for the verse, which begins to grow into the repetitive build up. ‘Can you feel the hairs stand on the back of your neck, can you feel your heart beating out of your chest?’ rings out until finally we are treated to a gut-punching breakdown, accompanied by synth that will become a familiar friend throughout this album.

‘Down to Hell’ is my personal favourite from ‘Like a House on Fire.’ The intro to the track is the first on the album to get my foot tapping and my head nodding. To me, it’s the strongest anthemic track of this record, complete with ‘na na na na na, hey! Hey!’ chanting which perfectly drops us into a rather up tempo verse, packed to the teeth with energy. The track is very reminiscent  of Avenged Sevenfold, both in the musical composition and front man Danny Worsnop’s vocal delivery. An excellent song that is going to be whacked on repeat, for sure.

‘Antisocialist‘ is a big middle finger, showcasing the stresses of everyday life and finally saying, ‘I’ve had enough.’ Even with the songs grittier subject matter, it is a lot more melodic than the previous tracks, which is a welcome break. ‘I Don’t Need You’ is perhaps the showstopper in the album, it reaches a wonderful if not heart-wrenching spot within all of us. The song tells us a tale of how heart break happens from both sides and how there are two sides to every story. Frontman Danny Worsnop is joined by guest vocalist Grace Grundy. “It’s a beautiful song, because you hear both sides of a relationship. It tugs on the heartstrings for anyone who has been through a nasty breakup.” Some wonderful instrumentals carry us through the track to accompany an already sad subject, and eventually the lonely plucking of acoustic guitar strings play us out. The track is a clear break in the album, and not a bad one, it’s as refreshing as it is different from the tracks before it and it showcases the groups ability to deliver something pure and emotional.

For me, the first half of the record is most definitely the strongest. Each track seems to carry with it a different vibe and a different pace. As we head through the rest of the album, the quality and professionalism of each track does not waver. After such a strong start the second half seems more a waiting game than something new and exciting with each passing track, but that’s just me. Each track is a heavy hitter, there’s no doubt about that, but there are quite a lot of tracks to get through before we reach the end of the record. ‘One Turns to None’ is a stand out in the second half, and it gave me chills to listen to. I felt as if I had been sucked into cinematic piece and the super villain was just being introduced. My hairs stood on end for this track, which completely shook me for a moment, I wasn’t ready for it, but I wanted it.

The end of the album brings two powerful numbers, ‘The Violence ‘, which is a pure testosterone filled bout of aggression (and if you haven’t checked out the music video where we find zombies being attacked by the living, then you’re missing out!) and ‘Lorazepam’, which is, or feels to be, another personal track. It shows us we are all human, we all suffer, even when we are surrounded by lavish possessions and people who are there to make us feel good. I think ending the record on a melancholy note was a powerful move and one that paid off, as it leaves us thinking, asking questions and reflecting. If Asking Alexandria wonder if they have delivered a powerful record, then the answer is yes, and with it they have whisked us through a whirlwind of emotions and memories.

 

https://www.facebook.com/askingalexandria

Pre – Order the album at https://www.askingalexandria.com/

Review by:

Rebecca Bush

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