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Alesana - The Emptiness Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 7
Musicianship 8
Lyrics 7
Production 8.25
Creativity 6
Lasting Value 6.5
Reviewer Tilt 7
Final Verdict: 71%
Member Ratings
Vocals 7.57
Musicianship 7.43
Lyrics 7.14
Production 7.64
Creativity 7.71
Lasting Value 7.25
Reviewer Tilt 7.46
Average: 75%
Inside AP.net

Alesana - The Emptiness

Reviewed by: Dystroxia (02/01/10)
Alesana - The Emptiness
Record Label: Fearless Records
Release Date: January 26, 2010

Oh, Alesana. They get seriously pooped on for their two previous records, On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax and Where Myth Fades to Legend. But now, their third album, titled The Emptiness, has made a vast improvement from their sophomore release. As far as I can see, if they continue to head into the direction that this album is going, then they will improve.

This is a concept album based on Edgar Allen Poe that tells a story about a sketch artist that lives in Greater London in 1898 who loves this woman named Annabel. The next morning, he wakes up and she is found dead in their bed. He then tries to solve her murder, and you know how this goes. It’s a good, well-written story, but if you want to know more, either listen to the album, trying your hardest to decipher the undecipherable screaming, or buy it and read the story included with the CD.

“Curse of the Virgin Canvas” is the opener, and it’s honestly forgettable. You’ll simply listen to it and not remember a thing about it. However, songs like “The Artist”, “Hymn For the Shameless”, and “To Be Scared by an Owl” have really catchy choruses with Shawn Milke singing them (and Dennis Lee helping a little bit on some tracks), which the previous record lacked. However, “The Thespian” is the best track on the album. The chorus, which Milke also sings, is great and the catchiest on the whole album, albeit cheesy. The chorus goes: “I touch your lips and stare in your eyes / You smile and it makes me fly / You are the reason my heart beats / Tonight it’s just you and me.” The lyrics are also better but they're not as impressive as the storytelling mentioned in a separate booklet.

Alesana has stepped up in the singing, fixed the screaming (it was scattered in WMFtL), and now they can actually play. The guitar playing is nothing outstanding, but it’s not mediocre by any chance. With nice catchy riffs, it’s better than they’ve attempted before. The drumming has also been improved since the last album as well. What this album can leave off on the next one would be a reference to poetry or mythology. Instead of writing about something, how about they write their own lyrics, because this band is criticized for this. But not only this, the screams have to be redefined, again. They may be organized, but they’re still not good. It doesn’t bring the work down, but I don’t want to listen to music and not understand what someone is saying. That may sound like typical screaming but if you listen closely to some bands (Underoath) you can actually tell what the screamer is saying.

Overall, this album is a huge step up from the other two. Lee’s screaming is still bad, but it’s organized correctly this time. The Emptiness won’t change Alesana hater’s minds, but for newcomers, maybe they can start here. Just don’t start with the other albums. Forget that they were there, and listen to this one; your opinion of Alesana will be a lot better. Plus the story is actually pretty decent, which is another reason to give it a try.

Recommended If You Likescreamo?; Chiodos (mentioned in a comment on Drew's review); A Skylit Drive; Eyes Set to Kill


www.myspace.com/alesana

My Favorite TracksThe Artist; The Thespian; To Be Scared By an Owl
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 38.
12:47 PM on 02/13/10
#2
xapplexpiex
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Weird. You say it's an improvement and give it some praise, yet you rate it so low.
But personally, I think the lyrics should be way lower. And I know this album is no masterpiece, but a 0.25 in production, creativity (the concept of the story is pretty creative in my opinion), and lasting value? Okay then...
12:49 PM on 02/13/10
#3
Dystroxia
We found love in a hopeless place
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Weird. You say it's an improvement and give it some praise, yet you rate it so low.
But personally, I think the lyrics should be way lower. And I know this album is no masterpiece, but a 0.25 in production, creativity (the concept of the story is pretty creative in my opinion), and lasting value? Okay then...
I accidentally didn't rate it right.

I need to fix that now, btw I've been waiting for this to be submitted and I didn't know when it would be.
12:54 PM on 02/13/10
#4
xapplexpiex
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I accidentally didn't rate it right.

I need to fix that now, btw I've been waiitng for this to be submitted and I didn't know when it would be.
Hah, yeah that seems better.
I haven't been a fan of this band since like...9th grade. I proly won't check this out, but it's cool they got better I guess.
01:00 PM on 02/13/10
#5
Dystroxia
We found love in a hopeless place
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Hah, yeah that seems better.
I haven't been a fan of this band since like...9th grade. I proly won't check this out, but it's cool they got better I guess.
You should.

Where Myth was bad, but The Emptiness is SO much better.

Listen to "To Be Scared by an Owl" and "The Thespian."
01:07 PM on 02/13/10
#6
xapplexpiex
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You should.

Where Myth was bad, but The Emptiness is SO much better.

Listen to "To Be Scared by an Owl" and "The Thespian."
I don't know. I liked one song on the last album: Seduction. The clean vocals were actually okay to me, if I remember correctly. The rest of the album was just screaming with no melody to me. And the lyrics don't really appeal to me. I guess I grew out of them. I do like other bands in this genre though (A Skylit Drive, Broadway, blessthefall...I guess if you consider them in the same genre...).
08:11 PM on 02/13/10
#7
Dystroxia
We found love in a hopeless place
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I don't know. I liked one song on the last album: Seduction. The clean vocals were actually okay to me, if I remember correctly. The rest of the album was just screaming with no melody to me. And the lyrics don't really appeal to me. I guess I grew out of them. I do like other bands in this genre though (A Skylit Drive, Broadway, blessthefall...I guess if you consider them in the same genre...).
Hmm, idk about ASD (I never listened to them) but the other two I can see a relation
08:20 PM on 02/13/10
#8
xapplexpiex
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Hmm, idk about ASD (I never listened to them) but the other two I can see a relation
A Skylit Drive is so much better than Alesana. Check out their album Wires...and the Concept of breathing.
08:23 PM on 02/13/10
#9
Dystroxia
We found love in a hopeless place
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A Skylit Drive is so much better than Alesana. Check out their album Wires...and the Concept of breathing.
Is it worth the listen?
08:24 PM on 02/13/10
xapplexpiex
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Is it worth the listen?
Yes. You'll love it.
08:27 PM on 02/13/10
Dystroxia
We found love in a hopeless place
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I take your word for it.
08:47 PM on 02/18/10
HeavenResign
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Drew's review was scored way too low, but imo this was scored a bit too high. Better placed screams can't make up for not having good screams, I would consider the lyrics definitely below average, like a 5 or 6. Musicianship? Being as good at guitar as anyone else and having a good drummer doesn't seem to be an 8 to me...but eh combine the two reviews on this album and you get a realistic expectation of it.

And yeah, A Skylit Drive's first album was pretty damn good in my opinion, I know the band gets a bit of a bad rap on here. Their second album was pretty bad, not worth bothering with.
09:26 PM on 02/18/10
Barto1127
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I just watched them play the whole album through in its entirety...I've gotta say that I think I'm done with them. When I listened to the album everything just sounded so flat. I really liked On Frail Wings... and I haven't been able to enjoy a song from them since.

A Skylit Drive is 10x better than these guys. The first half of Wires... is awesome.
09:32 PM on 02/18/10
icynova
Love is easier made than kept!
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I like the album. Nothing special though, it has a few songs that I would really enjoy seeing live.
09:33 PM on 02/18/10
LastDeclaration
mmm tasty
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This band is not good. At all. And this is coming from someone with a pretty high tolerance for cookie-cutter screamo. A Skylit Drive is also terrible.
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