Review Summary: On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax offers great instrumental, bone crushing screams, and melodic singing, all in one amazingingly well done cd.
Alesana is a posthardcore band that was formed in October 2004. In North Carolina. The band consists of 6 members:
* Dennis Lee - Vocals
* Shawn Milke - Vocals/Guitar/Piano
* Patrick Thompson - Guitar
* Adam Ferguson - Guitar/Vocals
* Steven Tomany - Bass
* Jeremy Bryan - Drums
Alesana first signed on with Tragic Hero Records, and was the first band on that label. They were with Tragic Hero Records from 2005-2006, and they then moved onward to Fearless Records, which is still their label today. The cd "on frail wings of vanity and wax" was released while the band was with Tragic hero Records, and then on march 20th 2007 they re-released that album on Fearless Records with two bonus tracks and live videos of 4 songs with an interview at the end.
On frail wings of vanity and wax starts out with "Icarus", which is basically just a little intro which uses all the vocalists and a nice melody in the background. Near the end of this song some screaming picks up and leads into the second song, Ambrosia.
Ambrosia is a really great song with a catchy main chorus. The opening really showcases how great Alesana is, vocally. They do a great job at incorporating death grunts, screaming, and soft singing into their songs. Everything seems to fit together perfectly. This song pretty much prepares you for what most of the album is going to be like, so if you don't like this then you probably won't enjoy the rest of it.
Pathetic, Ordinary has some really good music to it, but the best thing about this song is the main chorus, which is quite catchy. Not too much to say for this song, it dosen't deserve as much credit as others, such as "Alchemy sounded good at the time", which is without a doubt one of the most hardcore songs on this album. Most of the song is done with death grunts, and screams. These combined with the ammazing drumming and guitars displayed in this song make it one of the best on the cd. Daggers speak louder than words is probably one of the worst songs on the cd, it just seems boring and repetitive, however the last minute is okay.
The next three songs are more on the quiet side. "Last three letters" has some of the best lyrics on this album (in my opinion), not as much screaming as previous tracks, it is still there, just not as much. This song was put together real well. Apology is one of, if not the most well known songs by Alesana. The beggining starts off with some real smooth, calm singing and then brakes away into screaming, of course this song too delivers a catchy chorus, but I don't feel that it's as strong as the others. The acoustic remix of this is much better in my opinion. Tilting the hourglass I would have to say is one of the best songs on this cd, everything fits in very well. All singing and intrumental seem flawless in this song. The main chorus is very emo-ispired, and the lyics are about the only thing that's debatable.
The most stand-out- track on this cd would definitely have to be "the third temptation of paris". This song shows that Alesana can be much more than just a screamo/post-hardcore band. This song has absolutly no screaming or death grunts in it. It's hands down the softest song, and the best on the album. This song is also amazing lyrically. The piano in this song is great, and serves it's purpose. The vocalists use their voices in harmonize for most of the song, and after the singing stops the piano plays on for a nice finish.
Nero's Decay is a great song to go out on. Another song where everything just seems to fit. As for the two bonus tracks. Apology remix was very good, exact same lyrics, except, acoustic. Eearly mourning is a completely new song that alesana put out. If these songs are the way the band is heading then it will be much more quiet with very little screaming. Early mourning can mostly be put next to the third temptation of paris, as they have their similarities.
When it comes down to it, this album as a whole is amazing. Every single track is great, all the way to the end, and so I feel that this deserves a 4/5. I can't wait to see what these guys come up with in the future! And for any of you out there who haven't heard of Alesana you should really check them out, I don't think that you would be dissapointed.
-The Third Temptation Of Paris
-Last Three Letters
-Alchemy Sounded Good At The Time
-Tilting The Hourglass