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Alesana - On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax Album Cover

Alesana - On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax

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3.9
Alesana - On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax
Record Label: Fearless Records

Ever have a good idea that never really quite took off? An idea that didn’t even make it to the runway? An idea that maybe just blew up in the hangar? "Screamo" outfit Alesana’s debut “On Frail Wings of Vanity And Wax”, newly released by Fearless Records, is just that.

Hailing from Raleigh, NC, Alesana has received the accolade of many, scoring tours with the likes of Haste The Day, From Autumn to Ashes, and Greeley Estates. And deservingly so. Their musicianship is proficient to say the least. Unfortunately, this CD is also failsafe in the sense that the kids will gobble it up (read: UNORIGINAL). Consistent references to dying and hackneyed imagery about suicide run rampant, coupled with obtrusive, velociraptor dinosaur-like screams and a so-called growl with uncanny resemblance to Escape the Fate (that is bad). It just kind of seems like a smörgåsbord of what’s really cool to do, and it turns out as a mess.

The mythical Icarus theme is about the boy who escaped from an island via wings made out of feathers and wax; he got excited, flew really high and the sun melted the wax, so his wings fell apart, leading to his demise. Unfortunately, the theme is neither recurrent nor dominant. I thought the theme was sort of nifty, it would've been cool to see what some other bands would've created based upon that theme. The wings in the story aren’t blood-soaked either (see “Pathetic, Ordinary”). It just kind of seemed like the Icarus theme was a dead end, the way Alesana handled it.

The melodic vocals are decent, and the riffs are structured well. Production is clean. Singer Dennis Lee has a good (high) range and interesting voice that meanders all over. The songs then proceed to be wrecked by unnecessary, unoriginal, derivative screams placed seemingly for the sake of having screaming. This is my main complaint with what is an otherwise okay album. When the pace is brought down, the songs are actually enjoyable, or at least when there is no screaming. I don’t hate this band, nor do I hate screamo music (quite the contrary). I’m just disappointed by the fact that this album completely falls on its face, and how much image is valued (in general, to be honest).

Alesana has potential, they really do. Let’s hope it really carries through on future efforts; this CD radiates “cliché”. Perhaps I’ll see them at Warped this year, and I’ll change my mind for some weird reason. Until then, I’ll keep spinning “Frail Words Collapse” if I want aggressive music.
This review is a user submitted review from Alex_Willden. You can see all of Alex_Willden's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 21
12:31 AM on 04/06/07
#2
Greg.Kushlan
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I thought this was released on victory.
anyways, I thought that what i heard of it wasnt very interesting, and i agree with you.
08:51 AM on 04/06/07
#3
bloodyr0mance87
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"I don’t hate this band, nor do I hate screamo music (quite the contrary)."

i like that you pointed that out. i'm a DJ at my school's radio station and i review a lot of CDs for them. i get a lot of good stuff that i actually like, and i also get my fair share of crap. more often than not, the crap is some terribly generic screamo band. i end up giving the CD a bad rating, but it's not because i don't like the music. it's because the band is so bland it's hard to see the album as good. if more bands would be more creative, i think it would be a lot more fun to listen to this kid of music.
10:57 AM on 04/06/07
#4
elvis2x
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The review score is 38 or 39 points too high, I'm not sure.
12:01 AM on 06/26/07
#5
RonMexico
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These guys and blessthefall need to die in a fire.
02:18 PM on 07/24/07
#6
JannaTheGreat
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Hmm. Dennis Lee doesn't sing. That's Shawn Milke with the high range, for the record. Just thought you should know.
04:27 AM on 08/04/07
#7
Alex_Willden
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Hmm. Dennis Lee doesn't sing. That's Shawn Milke with the high range, for the record. Just thought you should know.

Okay...thanks for that. Sorry about the little error.
09:44 AM on 08/21/07
#8
thegip
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Yea, I saw this band opening for Maylene and the Sons of Disaster and Haste the Day and holy crap did they bring the energy of the place to a grinding halt. They were horrible and actually had a choreographed breakdown! A band that is for sure more worried about their image then making decent music.
08:07 AM on 09/28/07
#9
skleeve
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Yea, I saw this band opening for Maylene and the Sons of Disaster and Haste the Day and holy crap did they bring the energy of the place to a grinding halt. They were horrible and actually had a choreographed breakdown! A band that is for sure more worried about their image then making decent music.

That's wear your wrong my friend. They try to get the crowd into their music, and they do a great job of doing that. And it's cool to see that they do the same things in every song, cause when they come back around to that town, all the kids are doing the same hand motions, know what to expect and rock the fuck out. Everyone disses Alesana for being worried about their image, when all they do is try and improve their stage presence. Choreograped breakdowns are okay on some songs, but all the time, yes that would be rather dumb. They don't do that every song though. People say they arn't creative, yet they have better written lyrics than most screamo bands out there. Hearing the cd and making judgment on them is retarded. They do give it their all on stage and perform the songs from the cd even better in my opinion. I don't think the cd captures the true sound of them. Hopefully with Fearless the next one will. And when I went to the Haste the Day show, more ppl were into Alesana than anyone else, so I guess your in a state that just loves country and rock...or something like that.
01:08 PM on 11/08/07
realfobfan
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Congradulations,I Hate You makes me think about suicide. I don't know why. It's just one of those songs someone would commit suicide by.
01:01 AM on 11/20/07
xjdizzle
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These guys and blessthefall need to die in a fire.


Maybe u should get hit by the retarted school bus and die. alesana is awsome
09:03 AM on 11/21/07
RonMexico
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Maybe u should get hit by the retarted school bus and die. alesana is awsome

The guy who can't spell "retarded" and "awesome" is calling me "retarted".

1. Find a fire.
2. Die in it.
01:35 AM on 02/10/08
Iwudstilldie4u
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Whoa! Such anger from the people above!
I agree that the screaming is largely unnecessary and detracts from the quality of the record, but other than that I think it deserves more than its meager 39%. "Ambrosia" is a reat, fast paced song, and "Early Mourning" and "Apology (Remix/Acoustic)" on the re-release are excellent tracks that are nearly completely free frm screaming. Hopefully on Alesana's upcoming record they leave the screaming out of a few songs but still keep up the high tempo and make use of all three guitarists.
Also (and I know I'll get a lot of crap for this) I think their hairstyles and fashion are awesome!
02:52 PM on 04/21/08
ewwwwtheresa
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Also (and I know I'll get a lot of crap for this) I think their hairstyles and fashion are awesome!

They all have the same hairstyle. Literally. I borrowed their album once from a friend and that's one of the first things I noticed when I saw their pictures in their little booklet inside their album. Haha. It's kinda funny.
11:47 AM on 05/20/08
punk_babe_08
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all you guys that are like trash talking alesana are clearly stupid and have no taste in music. Alesana is the best i dont care what others say these guys are effing great and you guys are stupid so yeah.

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