Alesana
Try This With Your Eyes Closed


2.0
poor

Review

by DWittisarockstar USER (12 Reviews)
November 19th, 2007 | 21 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Alesana debuts painfully.

I have a huge man-crush on Alesana. I seem to be the only regular user on this website who actually enjoys their music as much as I do. Their LP, On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax, I rated a 4.5 and I listen to regularly. This review is of the preceding EP, Try This With You Eyes Closed. Now that I’ve got that disclaimer out of the way, I can begin my review.

Alesana is a 6-piece post-hardcore outfit from Raleigh, North Carolina. One of the main draws of this band is the fact that they have 3 vocalists. Dennis Lee is the lead vocalist, constantly unleashing guit-wrenching screams. He sometimes gets help from guitarist and backup vocalist Adam Ferguson; however, the vocals sound exactly the same. The third vocalist is Shawn Milke, who sings and unleashes high pitched screams and wails across the album. Normally, having two vocalists (I’m combining Lee and Ferguson because they are indistinguishable) is a positive thing. The difference in tone and sound helps the tracks sound more fresh and engaging. Well, on this album it’s not a positive thing. Dennis Lee takes a pretty good post-hardcore EP and vomits all over it, destroying, to some extent, everything his voice touches.

“Apology” is the first track on the EP, and it can be found on the later release, “On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax”. This version is identical to that version. The track starts peacefully with Milke’s soothing, high-pitched vocals and clean guitar behind it. 43 seconds in is the first time we get to hear Lee’s vocals, and it’s unfortunate for all of us that he does. While Milke’s screams can be equally annoying, he makes up for it with his singing ability. Lee does nothing but spout out vomit worthy screams that take away from every track they used on, which is all the but the last track. The following track, “Endings Without Stories”, is the worst track on the whole LP. Milke is merely average, at best, while Lee is as pitiful as usual.

The other tracks are basically more of the same, ranging from mediocre to strong performances from Milke, and from abysmal to atrocious from Lee. “Congratulations, I Hate You” is the best track on the EP; however, it is also on the following LP mentioned before, albeit in a different version. I prefer this version to the “On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax” version. Milke shines on this track, luckily having more vocal parts than usual. The last track, Early Mourning, is Lee-less! That can only be a good thing, right" Well, sure, this track is more pleasant than the others. Unfortunately, Milke’s worst vocals of the whole EP can be found here. He seems to be constantly off-pitch, and his tone wavers and falters to sadly ridiculous levels. As much as I liked the chorus, the verse was so out of tune and painful to listen to that it ruins the entire track. The piano in the background is nice, but Milke’s vocals take away from everything that this track could have been.

You may have noticed that I didn’t talk about the guitars, bass, or drums at all. Well, that’s because they are nothing at all interesting. The drums are generic and overplayed, with the general double-kick fare that most metalcore fans will be used to hearing. The guitars, despite there being three different parts, are painfully simplistic and repetitive throughout the entire EP. The bass, while supposedly there, is completely inaudible.

Alesana improved leaps in bounds on their following release, but that doesn’t redeem this one of all its faults. While some portions are fun to listen to, and Milke’s voice is a positive, nothing else about this album can really be worthy of mention or praise at all. Stay away from this unless you really like Alesana.
Alesana is…
Dennis Lee - Vocals
Shawn Milke - Vocals/Guitar/Piano
Patrick Thompson - Guitar
Adam Ferguson - Guitar/Vocals
Steven Tomany - Bass
Daniel Magnuson - Drums



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user ratings (141)
Chart.
3.1
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
DWittisarockstar
November 19th 2007


1501 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

My summary sucks. This review was hard on me, because I love Alesana. I do not love this EP, however.

xmattxhardcore
November 19th 2007


422 Comments


Good review. I've never heard this, but I agree with you about their debut. However, my review of it was very disliked.

leviedman
December 22nd 2007


36 Comments


I enjoyed this EP more than I did with On Frail Wings. I dunno, maybe its because its more raw and original than On Frail Wings was. On Frail Wings coulda been better but it was a rehash of this ep with new greek mytho related songs.

DWittisarockstar
December 22nd 2007


1501 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

The vocals improved vastly from this EP to their LP. Milke and Lee both sound way better on the LP. I will admit, though, that the opening scream in 'Congratulations, I hate you' on this Ep, not the LP, may be one of the most raw moments in music.



It just gets old after seven tracks.This Message Edited On 12.22.07

Vokills
April 29th 2008


109 Comments


good review for a srsly annoying band.





imo

BroRape
April 29th 2008


803 Comments


alesana blows. i'm embarrassed to say that i'm from the same state.

kattunlover69
April 29th 2008


1194 Comments


oh sdfu u got BTBAM and i got circle takes the square and crunk music...jeez you got it waay better

BroRape
April 29th 2008


803 Comments


oh sdfu u got BTBAM and i got circle takes the square and crunk music...jeez you got it waay better


well most NC shit rules like lust of decay but a lot of it sucks like return the hero and alesana and my hero is me. i'm not complaining.

you don't like circle takes the square?

ahumantragedy
May 27th 2008


3 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Dennis Lee and Adam Ferguson have very different voices imo.



Lees voice is more raspy and Fergusons is more like.. wheezing? its hard to explain his vocals which is why i love them.



Fun band live.

cowjuan
November 25th 2008


2 Comments


I love this ep better than any other recording.
it's raw.


Distance
November 25th 2008


113 Comments


their vocals always sucked and they always will too

CradleofMILF
August 19th 2009


167 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I love their vocals. Good ep. Gets you ready for the full length which is amazing.

DWittisarockstar
September 26th 2012


1501 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Oh my god I used to like this band.



This hurts.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 18th 2013


22486 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

'Try This With Your Eyes Closed', the debut EP from Raleigh formed quintet Alesana, looks to be innovative in style, but ends up being rather cookie-cutter in its melding of post-hardcore & screamo. While Shawn Milke's clean vocals show promise & there are some nice guitar melodies courtesy of Patrick Thompson, Dennis Lees's horrid & unintelligible screaming render the lyrics useless. The raw production doesn't help a great deal, hence the 2008 reissue which contains 2 extra tracks. All but 'Not a Single World' appeared on later LPs by the band, which is strange since it is not the worst tune here. Recommended Tracks: Congratulations I Hate You & Early Mourning.

Feather
November 19th 2014


4976 Comments


Its the weirdest thing. I heard one of these songs today so I went to check out the CD and I know every song on here... apparently I went through an alesana phase back in the day and dont even remember it.

MotokoKusanagi
October 25th 2017


1616 Comments


still throw this on now and then for funsies, so nostalgic

foxblood
June 30th 2018


9480 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Apology rules.

GmemberKills
June 30th 2018


3683 Comments


hmmm never jammed this. their first album had some bangers though

foxblood
June 30th 2018


9480 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is their best imo you would probably like it.

ButtBoy
June 30th 2018


1242 Comments


The Emptiness is the only album that matters. Actually APWTSIS was good too, but then they went back to shit again.



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