Reckless & Relentless Review

artist: Asking Alexandria date: 08/22/2016 category: compact discs
Asking Alexandria: Reckless & Relentless
Released: Apr 5, 2011
Genre: Metalcore
Label: Sumerian Records
Number Of Tracks: 12
"Reckless & Relentless" may be the metalcore jem of the year with its varied atmosphere, vigorously passionate delivery, and all around better approach than that of almost every band in this scene.
 Sound: 8.5
 Lyrics: 8.3
 Overall Impression: 8.5
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reviews (6) 121 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9
Reckless & Relentless Reviewed by: mpastrick, on april 05, 2011
5 of 7 people found this review helpful

Sound: Being the follow up to Stand Up And Scream, this album certainly held true to Asking Alexandria's aggressive sound. It comes in heavy with another intro like their last album, entitled Welcome. One thing that they have improved on, is the incorporation of piano and synth. Welcome brings in the album with a mellow piano that turns into a heavy breakdown like bridge to the next song, Dear Insanity. One of the biggest things that you will notice is the layering of screams. It walks a fine line between good production, and over production, but on the good side. The new and improved highs are commonly coupled with heart pounding lows and it all turns out very well. For anyone who is a fan of Stand Up And Scream, you will begin to hear a more heavy usage of synth breaks and interludes. Songs such as Reckless and Relentless, Closure, and, A Lesson Never Learned really tie it into the songs to give it a very dark over-tone. Thankfully, Joey Sturgis was careful not to let it anything overpower something else. James Cassells really followed through on drums, setting the pace of the album and really making hooks where it counts. His technicality has improved and he now seems an even better developed drummer. In the middle of the album is, Dedication, which serves as a break and separates the album tone wise. Afterwards AA comes out with the first song they have released without any screams. Seemingly breaking out of comfort zone, but it seems as though they have pulled it off. From there, the album seems to take on an ascent, getting faster paced and aggressive. With songs like, Breathless, and, Reckless and Relentless, they really show uniqueness in sound while tying all instruments and vocals in together quite elegantly. Morte et Dabo sends the album out quite a bang. I may even venture to say it is the heaviest song from this band yet. Simple yet versatile, putting this song on a proving ground of what seems like an endless breakdown. // 9

Lyrics: The whole album seems to take a dark approach lyrically. Danny Worsnop definitely took into account his battle with alcohol addiction and his struggles to overcome it, providing a sort of hopeful undertone. Some of the lyrics take into account past and future relationships, in such songs as, Dedication, Someone, Somewhere, and Breathless. I certainly hear a lot of release in the words of these songs, aggression taken out through the all of the lyrics. If you are heavily into Stand Up And Scream, you will not be disappointed from this standpoint as many of the same concepts follow through. What has incredibly improved are the skills of Danny Worsnop and Ben Bruce in vocals. The clean vocals sound less produced and more fitting to the music. All the while, the screams have reached a much greater range. The highs are higher and the lows are lower. Simply put. The coupling of the two goes together quite well and really set Asking Alexandria apart from other bands in the metalcore scene. // 9

Overall Impression: I have been avidly awaiting this release and Asking Alexandria did not leave me disappointed. Through this and, Life Gone Wild EP, they have shown that they can really do just about whatever they want. This is a band that has really taken self improvement upon themselves and delivered to fans what they want. I have heard so much these days about how Asking Alexandria just copies every other band out there and they have no skill themselves. Well, why are they so much better then? This band, along with others like, Miss May I and, We Came As Romans have simply done their research, studied, and became good at what they do. The only thing I would like to see more from AA is guitar solos. There are some in the album but there could be more. Otherwise, the fast paced, heart pounding drums of James Cassells, along with the aggressive guitars of Sam Bettley, Ben Bruce, and Cameron Liddel, and Danny Worsnop to set it all off with strong vocals, really makes for a great quintet on the rise. // 9

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overall: 7.7
Reckless & Relentless Reviewed by: mynamehere040, on april 13, 2011
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: If you're death metal's biggest fan or anything remotely metalcore makes you cringe, you should probably not listen to this album. It's that easy. The scene kids will whine that this is the greatest album ever, and the metal purists will say "It's not tr00 metal." But if you take yourself off of your high horse and examine this album from a third person perspective, you'll find things to admire and things to dislike. Asking Alexandria is, at first glance, "synth and chugs." It's not for everyone. But since Stand Up And Scream, the band's first effort, they have vastly improved their songwriting abilities. The band has ditched more abrasive songs ("Hey There Mr. Brooks," "Nobody Don't Dance No More") in favor of catchier hooks and heavier riffs. They control their use of synths and make them seem less randomly thrown in. Rather than sticking to one basic riff and changing it slightly throughout the whole album the band has done more experimentation to create a more diverse sound, moving away from the drawbacks of their first album. // 8

Lyrics: Asking Alexandria has always had a strange combination of lyrical themes ("Scars don't heal when you keep cutting" and "I like to party" in adjacent songs on their first album) and that has certainly not changed. From life on tour to partying to introspective emo lyrics, they don't cover much new ground here. The biggest change on the album is their vocals. They have refrained from the blatantly pitch-corrected clean vocals of Stand Up And Scream for a more raw, realistic sound. While Danny Worsnop doesn't have the greatest voice you'll ever hear, the experimentation has its promising moments. // 7

Overall Impression: Asking Alexandria has taken several large steps in the right direction. From their growth in their songwriting ability to their vocal experimentation, they are certainly carving their own niche in the post-hardcore scene, perhaps one of the heavier ones, while maintaining a wider appeal than most heavier bands. It's rare to see a "synthcore" band mature this quickly, and while Reckless And Relentless doesn't necessarily feel fantastic the first time through, it is overall stronger than their first effort. // 8

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overall: 8
Reckless & Relentless Reviewed by: ninjagayden777, on april 05, 2011
1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: There are only so many directions a Metalcore band can take before wearing out their sound and becoming monotenous. It's happened to some of the best in the game, even. Clearly, Asking Alexandria are fighting very hard not to be lumped in that category, because their new album, Reckless And Relentless takes as many steps away from thier debut as possible. The overall result is an album that's heavy, raw, and begging to be played as loud as you can get it. The intro, properly titled "Welcome" brings in the new sound, starting deceptively calm, and veering into a punishing breakdown (a sign of what is, most certainly, to come). The next few tracks show off AA's heavy side, with crunchy guitar lines and tremollo leads a'plenty. And most certainly unlike some contemporaries, keyboard lines are executed not only well, but in a manner that they make the sound all the more epic. The most surprising element, to me, is the inclusion of a few really decent guitar solos. Apparently all the Skid Row worship broke through into their music, prompting them to stay away from just breakdowns and octaves. The downside to all of this is that the songs, very like their first album, can come off as sounding far too similar at points. Listening at a distance I can missmatch breakdowns from songs to ones on the complete opposite end of the album. All in all though, this is a drastic improvement upon Stand Up And Scream musically. // 7

Lyrics: Love him, or hate him, Danny is an amazing vocalist. His bellows are fierce and gritty, screams sharp as knives, and melodious lines perfectly executed. He has improved a lot since the last album, favoring the low end growls over higher screams, which matches the heavier tone of the band very well. One of the vocal highlights is the song To The Stage, which showcases Danny displaying all his vocal techniques with supurb mastery. Lyrically, this album is surprisingly strong. Subject matter is very diverse, going from God (What a way to end the world/With false hope in a false god - Morte Et Dabo), self loathing (I spend my days looking through pages/Trying to find a way to get away from me - Breathless), and the vigors of touring (Even though I'm on my own/ I know I'm not alone/Cause I know there's someone, somewhere/Waiting when I make it home - Someone, Somewhere). This is far more than 12 tracks of lovesick emo-metalcore: the passion of the lyrics, backed up by outstanding delivery, makes vocals a true highpoint on this album. // 9

Overall Impression: Reckless and Relentless may be the metalcore jem of the year with its varried atmosphere, vigorously passionate delivery, and all around better approach than that of almost every band in this scene. Asking Alexandria have truly suceeded in making an album that unlike those of others, could quite possibly stand the test of time and become a milestone for the genre. While there are quite a few people that find this band absolutely attrocious, R&R may just turn some haters into fans, and for the ones it doesn't, they obviously are missing out on a brilliant piece of work. For fans of: "Zombie" era The Devil Wears Prada, early Bring Me The Horizon, Miss May I. // 8

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overall: 9
Reckless & Relentless Reviewed by: samcox855, on august 22, 2016
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Despite Asking Alexandria's incredible debut album, "Stand Up and Scream," "Reckless & Relentless" is representative of the peak of their career from any knowledgeable fan. Danny's (Worsnop, lead vocalist) unclean vocals have improved greatly from the amateur-yet-impressible screams heard on "SUAS," and the album as a whole perfectly balances heavy and soft sections, with songs such as "Dedication" and "Someone, Somewhere" mixed in with "Breathless" and "Morte Et Dabo." An advancement in instrumentals is also evident in this album. "Stand Up and Scream" did show Ben (Bruce, lead guitarist) and Cameron (Liddell, rhythm guitarist)'s skills with their respective instruments, but it does not match the standards shown on "Reckless & Relentless," which includes more complicated riffs, better shreds and much improved breakdowns. Talent notwithstanding, "SUAS" was still an incredible album, but "R&R" contains some of my all-time favourite sounds from one of the best mainstream metalcore bands. // 10

Lyrics: Much like the sound of the album, the lyrics of this album - when audible through Worsnop's vocals - have shown some advancement since "Stand Up and Scream"'s amateur and frankly immature vocals. This album still continues some aspects of lyrical subjects from "SUAS," yet it finds it feet in other places, talking about other issues that are more focused on relatable topics. A good example of this would be the song "Dedication," in which the lyrics talk about losing a person close to you, and to keep strong in times of sadness. The lyrics also go perfectly with the heavy music, and their delivery, as aforementioned, shows the skill Worsnop has as a vocalist as well as Ben's talent and imagination as a guitarist and songwriter. // 8

Overall Impression: Compared to "Stand Up and Scream," "Reckless & Relentless" does the band justice in improving and moving their sound forward. Since it's release, the band has not come close to exceeding the album's standard, and it still remains to be their greatest work. As one area of improvement, I still think the lyrics, especially those from songs like "To the Stage," could be replaced with more meaningful ones, and be less centred around the topics of women or partying. Other than that, this album is one of my favourites of all time, and is definitely the best release by Asking Alexandria, earning them a well-deserved spot in the mainstream "rock" scene. // 9

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