If Asking Alexandria’s title track for their upcoming album, The Black, is any indication, it will be a record full of dark conflict. “I Won’t Give In” was refusal, “Undivided” was defiance, and “The Black” is desperation. The track itself sits perfectly between the former’s structured ambience and the latter’s angry chaos, an alternative metal track. A mid-tempo groove sets the stage for the rest of the song’s burning statement about abandonment and betrayal. The target of the song’s lyrics is blatantly apparent and it seems the remainder of the twelve track record will follow suit.
What the song lacks in riffs and complexity, it makes up for with vocal expression and unbridled emotion. The airy pre-chorus sung by frontman Denis Stoff chills the back of one’s neck and the following chorus features an anthemic and memorable quality. Interestingly enough, “The Black” is a song split into two parts. In the first half, the chorus reprises once with the verses frequenting slight variations of the main riff established in the introduction with screams from Denis that are reminiscent of older death metal. The second half is a different story entirely, however, bridged with a solemn utter of “I need to cut you out” that paves the way for lead guitarist Ben Bruce to sing of his sorrow, a tear-jerking piece that will not let go of the listener’s heartstrings. A timely usage of strings especially makes this part woeful, before James Cassells splits the air with an air drum-worthy fill, one of many he fills this song with. The song’s final quarter is its most powerful yet, Denis hitting his most potent notes ever heard on record while backed by ambient guitar.
The song fades out perfectly with a grim piano piece, leaving the listener completely aware of the horrors the remaining four band members faced once they were left standing faceless without the mainman of their band. It’s all weighty and dramatic, making for one of the heaviest songs in Asking Alexandria’s career and inarguably, one of their most vital.