Alesana – The Emptiness
Release Date: January 26, 2010
Record Label: Fearless
“I am here to tell you a story. A story that will torture your thoughts by day and poison your dreams by night. And though I will do my best, there are no words that can be written nor brush strokes laid on canvas that can describe this stark and utter horror of the night that Annabel died”
It’s not often that the first few seconds of an album perfectly describes what you are about to hear, but if you replace “story” with “album” and “Annabel died” with “Drew Beringer listened to The Emptiness,” then you have a perfect description of Alesana’s latest offering of "lolcore."
Seriously, what else is there to say? The Emptiness is exactly what the title implies – this album is void of any creativity and enjoyment. Sure the music is sometimes decent, but the screeching sing-scream tandem delivered by Dennis Lee and Shawn Milke immediately ruins any progress made.
The sound is just hollow. While some choice cuts from 2008’s Where Myth Fades To Legend were mildly entertaining and showed some promise, The Emptiness is just more of the same, if not worse. Jeremy Bryan shines on drums throughout, but that might be the lone bright spot.
The hooks are somewhat catchy but terribly generic (see: “To Be Scared By An Owl”), while the screaming utterly destroys tracks like “Curse Of The Virgin Canvas” and “The Murderer.” And while the band's roster promises a triple-guitar attack, it rarely shows up. Three guitars aren’t that special when they are mimicking each other.
And don’t get me started on the lyrics. Edgar Allen Poe is spinning in his grave as this album plays (The Emptiness’ concept is based around the letters Poe wrote to his wife). Take this brilliant piece of storytelling: “The knife slides down to the tip of my tongue./I'm finding pleasure in watching you writhe./I lean in just to lick the sweat off your face./I taste the reverence dripping down my throat.” That’s just the tip of the iceberg of failure.
Alesana’s The Emptiness is the worst thing to come out of Carolina since Jake Delhomme. There are no words or brush strokes that can truly describe how bad this album is. Alesana truly has (had?) the potential to be something decent, as their last album showed some promise, but The Emptiness has torn down whatever little foundation this band had to begin with.
This review was very well written, I know Alesana is a band with many "haters" but i personally thought that the album was quite good, sure the lyrics are a little off and their screaming can on occasion be a little too much to swallow but Shawn Milke has a great voice and the fact that the concept of the album flows and tells a perfect story definetly means that the album isn't a total bust
I think the most enjoyment I received from this album was listening to The Artist where a dance beat falls directly into a double bass run. I thought it was ridiculous and starting laughing. I then remembered you calling them "lolcore" and that I never took that title literally. Until now... Well played Beringer, well played.
This album is stellar. The last song alone absolutely blows away everything this band has done previous and ends the album with reassurance of complete awesomeness. I don't think I can stop smiling every time I listen to this record. There's more singing, guitar solos, the instrumentation is excellent. And there are definitely a few "aww" moments in the lyrics.
Whereas Where Myth Fades to Legend was pure energy, this one has a more balanced temperance to it. Alesana is one of those rare bands that is continually outstanding over the years, both in their live show and on record. And I really admire how they work together as a band on their records and keep control of it, even though they bring a producer in, it's Alesana's statement above all. And they made a really really good one this time around.