Review Summary: A possible cause for all the emo kids in your school
In this modern day society there seems to be a large percentage of the adolescent population that is of the whiny, emotional, "OMG my girlfriend left me and I cant take this anymore!" type. Maybe their a product of our American culture of getting what we want when we want it, maybe they had some traumatic childhood event, maybe they just need to quit listening to Alesana so much. Yes ladies and gentlemen, if your looking for whining, screams of angst, and a touch of greek mythology, then On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax
is the album for you.
Alesana is one of the better known screamo bands in the genre. Their mix of high pitched clean vocals and screams, along with the occasional growl thrown in, and their triple guitar attack, are part of the allure that this band brings to the genre. Although this description may sound appealing to some, it just does not work. The basis of On Frail Wings...
seems to be a breakup album with a facade of greek mythology on top. This concept really does not work, as the lyrics randomly bounce from the heartbroken, lonely type to lyrics about Rome. It just doesn't flow as a cohesive effort. The schizophrenic vocal approach does not help this album either. The combination of high pitched screams are decent, but may start to grate on the listeners ears after a while. The clean vocals are good at first listen, but when combined with the rest of it, may have some wishing that they actually went through puberty before recording. There is also the use of spoken word vocals, like in 'Congratulations I Hate You', but like the rest of the vocals, this comes off as off putting and whiny. The relief from the soprano octave vocals is brought on by the occasional growls, in tracks such as 'Ambrosia' and 'Alchemy Sounded Good at the Time', but they are too few to make an impact on this album.
Musically On Frail Wings
is nothing special. Tracks like 'This Conversation Is Over' and 'Daggers Speak Louder then Words' are an example of the standard screamo fare this band brings. With chords as the backdrop to a somewhat catchy lead line, the guitars are underwhelming and begs questions of what the point of the third guitarist is. The drumming is the usual double bass kick heavy style, although some interesting fills will present themselves throughout the album. Their are just not enough of them to make the drumming anything more then adequate. Unlike most albums the bass is actually audible, but does not provide much more then a low end for the guitars.
You might be wondering if there is anything, anything at all, that makes this album worthy of a listen. There is one track on Frail Wings
that shows what the band could do if they really wanted to. 'Third Temptation of Paris' is a piano ballad based around the war of Troy, and is the only song that keeps me coming back to this album at all. The high-pitched vocals, interspaced with female backing vocals, create a eerie sort of vibe on top of just a piano, showcase that the bands singing is good when used correctly. This track is three minutes and forty-two seconds of quality music in this mess of an album.
On Frail Wings
is only worth picking up if you are a fan of Alesana, or a real lover of the screamo genre. If that is not that case then I would suggest downloading 'Third Temptation of Paris' and staying as far away from the rest of this album as you physically can.