On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax



by LanoJones USER (1 Reviews)
February 4th, 2007 | 156 replies

Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: With passion and conviction blatantly obvious in their music lyrics, Alesana produces an album that is nothing short of remarkable.

When first hearing a band like Alesana, it’s easy to understand why they’re rapidly growing in popularity throughout the country. With a hectic touring schedule, and their signing to Fearless Records, Alesana is becoming an underground success in the Screamo genre of music.

Being more a fan of death metal and thrash, I didn’t have much expectations from Alesana, but I was easily blown away by their sound. Although some would say they’re stereotypical in terms of guitar and piano riffs and the switching of singing and screaming, it all blends so perfectly together to form one of the better screamo bands that I’ve ever heard.

The vocals are what stand out the most on this album, let alone in the band themselves. The two main vocalists of the band, Dennis Lee and Shawn Milke do a great job blending together to form a perfect harmony of screams and singing. Lee, being the screamer of the group, does a fantastic with his vocal duties, and it is inevitable to notice it on tracks such as Ambrosia and Alchemy Sounded Good at the Time. Lee has the ability to go from the above standard screams commonly associated with the genre, and adds in Death screams that match the low end riffs of the guitars in many of the songs. Along with Lee, Milke does a fantastic job of hitting perfect highs, to some lower notes to match Lee’s spine shivering screams. The two are able to harmonize the screams and singing on a lot of the songs, especially in the album’s finale, Nero’s Decay. Even on the minute long opener of piano and voices, Icarus, the screams and the singing both show they have an important and essential part in the band.

Onto the instruments, arguably what makes this band such a driving force. Alesana has 3 guitars, each playing different parts, but all important to the other. Milke, the singer also plays guitar while singing, and the other two guitarists, Patrick Thompson and Adam Ferguson all play a role each important to each other. The lead guitar sticks out on many of the tracks, adding a creative and faster feel to the music, something that not a lot of screamo bands are able to pull off successfully. The lead guitar is hard to miss in many of the songs, especially Pathetic, Ordinary and the most metal song on the album, Alchemy Sounded Good at the Time. On some of the softer songs of the album, the guitars switch to a clean sound, Milke takes the lead vocals, and he plays piano along to add a softer feel to Alesana, in songs such as The Third Temptation of Paris, proving they’re capable of being much more than a screamo band. The drums on this band aren't
typical from a screamo band, they play a much more important role in keeping a fast and driving tempo and every little thing from the sometimes fast double bass to every cymbal hit makes this band even more impressive with the blend of impressive drums, crunching guitars, and the harmony of vocals.

Alesana is a band that shows their emotion in their music. From Lee’s gut wrenching screaming to Milke’s almost anguish feeling vocals, the voices of Alesana set the mood and one can’t help but feel what the songs are about. The lyrics in most of these songs are yes, typical emo or screamo lyrics, but they just seem to have more depth and emotion to them then say Hawthorne Heights or From First to Last. The lyrics are something that everyone can relate to, but can’t put into the exact words that Lee and Milke can. There’s more conviction feeling in these lyrics than in most others, and it shows in every song.

Overall, Alesana’s On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax is clearly one of the better screamo albums that have ever been produced. This band is the future of the genre, not another clone of the unfortunate Hawthorne Heights, and if this band can produce more albums like OFWVW, they can be the biggest name that the hardcore/screamo scene has ever experienced.

Recommended Tracks:
Alchemy Sounded Good at the Time
Tilting the Hourglass
Congratulations, I Hate You

Overall: 4.5/5

user ratings (753)
other reviews of this album
YetAnotherBrick (1.5)
An experiment in epic results in a 15-track long display of pathetic....

ThePalaceOfWisdom (1.5)
On Frail Wings of Vanity And Wax? At least they got the vanity part right....

WhiteWallStargazers (2)
A possible cause for all the emo kids in your school...

xmattxhardcore (4)
On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax offers great instrumental, bone crushing screams, and melodic singi...

Comments:Add a Comment 
February 4th 2007


Album Rating: 4.5

thanks man. i appreciate the info.

February 4th 2007


Album Rating: 1.5

Welcome to the site Lano. Excellent first review. :thumb:

February 4th 2007


Really good review especially for a first.

February 4th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

band came out of my state and i would have given then a 4.5 but the music gets old fast so it got dropped to 3.5 but might get put to a 4

February 4th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

I gave this a 4 before...

Oh wells, great review.

February 5th 2007


I heard a little bit of this band about 6 months ago before they had even cut an album. I thought they were pretty good but didn't give um much thought. I'll have to rethink them.

February 5th 2007


Album Rating: 1.5

good review but their not screamo and genre nazism is a way of life on sputnik so get used to it.

February 19th 2007


Album Rating: 1.0

Ladies and gentlemen, the worst band on the planet. Not screamo, not emo. Just pure crap.

June 4th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

That is the dumbest fucking statement I've ever heard, have you even given this band a chance? Everyone should check out "The third temptation of paris", it's an amazing song.

Kid A
June 10th 2007


Album Rating: 4.5

I bought this three days ago and at first I was like, Shit i just blew my money on this. I don't know though, I've gotten used to his their style now. Pretty good album, I love Third Temptation of Paris and Neros Decay. Just took some time to get used to it.

June 15th 2007


Album Rating: 1.0

As a self proclaimed fan of this genre, this band is fucking terrible. Theres absolutly no need for three grown men to be squealing and squaking like 4 year old girls whose parents won't buy them a My Little Pony playset. The lyrics are bland - at best. It's bands like this that make me hate the world, and all of there 15 year old fanboys.

June 24th 2007


Album Rating: 5.0

put this in my ears

June 24th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

This album is fucking sick bro hade. :$

July 22nd 2007


yeah these guys try really hard to be "emo" and what not. if you've seen em live you know what i'm talking about. but its like, they know they aren't hardcore. they are doing what they want to do, even if the lyrics come off a bit cheezy "if my words even reach you, i'll assume you dont care". they were, however, fucking insane live, one of the best performing bands i've ever seen, and one of their guitarests got stopped at the border so they only played with two guitars. overall i have to say as much as i feel like i shoudln't like this band, they've grown on me, with catchy melodies, interesting riffs, blah blah the whole thing just gets in my system.

July 31st 2007


Album Rating: 2.5

i don't care how faggy this band is. the songs are catchy and the songwriting is much better than the other bands that get lumped in this genre

August 3rd 2007


Album Rating: 2.0

oh my lord this band is awful. normally i would like a bad like this but the singer just pisses the crap outta me and the screams..... good lordThis Message Edited On 08.04.07

August 11th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

the screams are amazing. both vocal ranges are crazy in singing and screaming. and you like at the drive in so why are you even rating screamo music

October 1st 2007


Album Rating: 2.0

This album gets pretty boring after a while.

October 2nd 2007


both my brothers love alesana but like chiodos, the voice is just something i'll never be able to cope with.

October 2nd 2007


Album Rating: 2.0

I like 'Tilting the Hourglass' and 'Ambrosia' but that's just about all that can hold my attention. I can't take the sung parts seriously, the vocals, as Kirgasm said, are hard to bare.

You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile


Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Site Copyright 2005-2017
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy