Review Summary: What have we here?
Remember the old Alesana? Yeah, i'm sure you do and wish you hadn't. But Alesana is not what it has been this time around. When the base of their past albums were laid before them to build into the final products they came to be, moreso on the side of disappointment and ..nausea, they were unkempt, less unkempt, and then catching but not ensnaring. In A Place Where the Sun is Silent
, the 6-piece Raleigh natives must have been excited for this work. For Alesana's fourth album, they concocted a recipe of dismay effectively paired with tactful beauty. APWTSIS follows a distinct concept, that following it's released, was discovered as a prequel to the preceding record; The Emptiness
. Evidently, these two records have a different approach from the first two records by the much better studio production by one Kris Crummett. It also features Alex Torres on second lead guitar, who is former of Eyes Set to Kill and Greeley Estates.
If you're already aware of Alesana, you know that seldom do they find way to effectively grasp the 3-guitar concept. Well folks, Torres just may have been that missing puzzle piece. The efforts on guitar sprawl over the ideals of many genres, and part from the conventional chugging riffs and polar melodies of post-hardcore. Such tracks as "A Forbidden Dance", "The Temptress", "Labyrinth", "A Gilded Masquerade", and "Beyond the Sacred Glass" really stand out for this reason and can be individually appreciated for the outstanding finesse and playful nature that really will ensnare
one's attention that all previous releases severely fell short of. To say any song in this record is a place mat that each and every scenie weenie will overplay on their MP3 players is dreadfully wrong, for this was not Alesana's intention. Of course some songs will stand out among the others, but each track plays a powerful part in the album's epic theme. All the unfortunate shortcomings of Alesana's instrumental pieces, specifically focusing on their piano work are all erased by the display of talent in the tracks on APWTSIS. My personal absolute
favorite on this record is the opening short track, "The Dark Wood of Error". It holds tight an element of terror represented by a misleading beauty with it's graceful presence and singing by the Milke siblings, but as soon as it hypnotizes you it plummets you into it's true intentions of bewitching horror that leads into it's exciting, edgy hour of A Place Where the Sun is Silent
The album is held in two acts, thematic on Dante Aligheri's The Divine Comedy
. The storyline is definitely not comedic, but as Act One: At the Gate
pulls you through into the dimension of Act Two: The Immortal Still
, it continues with it's powerful element of surprise that by now the listener has realized is the successful theme that Alesana truly intended here. In no spot do the intricate derailing of the chaotic double-bass'd, riffy, disharmonic noise into the polar opposite fun and catchy choruses and equally harmonic verses ever seem to be forced within the songs. Check any track as your example, but as long as the improved ("unique" if you don't feel he's any good) Dennis Lee and awe-inspiring Milke coincide in lead of their dual vocal attack, it will be a happy career for Alesana. Jeremy Bryan on drums commands the pace of the record with great tact and the bass supports the effort with just as much talent as well.
There isn't much bad to say other than pure opinion of the record. Opinions will try to dictate over the review and call it s*** as anyone would, and I might come off as a fanboy; so be it. But as compared to the previous releases, Alesana is a changed band and really has grown into itself and showed talent that I feel many did not think they possessed this time around. They have maturity and lots
of reason for optimism.
Rec'd Tracks: The Dark Wood of Error, Beyond the Sacred Glass, Lullaby of the Crucified, Labyrinth, and A Gilded Masquerade.