Alesana – On Frail Wings Of Vanity And Wax


Artist

Album

On Frail Wings Of Vanity And Wax

Label

Fearless Records

Year

2007

For Fans Of

Ambrosia – Alchemy Sounded Good At The Time – This Conversation Is Over

Summary

Just choose a fucking genre already…

Rating

65 / 100

Considering how over saturated
the whole “insert cliché here” genre is in 2007, it’s refreshing
to hear a band at least try and do something a little different.
Although some parts of this record can be a bit hit and miss and others
can be downright fucking awful, there are parts of “On Frail Wings
Of Vanity And Wax” that are pretty cool and deserve another listen. 

Imagine if you would, the shrieked
screams of “The Blood Brothers”, the helium affected vocals of “Chiodos”,
some pseudo metal riffing, a bit of pop punk and some really shitty
mosh parts and death growls and you get “Alesana”.  

Apparently these guys are making
waves in the states and I think I’ve worked out how they’re doing
it. By splicing together emo, screamo, metal, punk and pop they’ve
successfully catered to almost every demographic of the current Warped
Tour crowd.  

But what does this mean in terms
of songwriting? Well, it means “Alesana” are a talented bunch of
guys who can definitely play their respective instruments but the 13
songs contained within “On Frail Wings…” are lacking in consistency.
While you might be into the melody and chorus hooks of a track like
a “Ambrosia”, there’s a good chance that you’ll be turned off
by the poor attempts at guttural vocals on “Pathetic Ordinary”.  

At certain stages in the record,
“Alesana’s” vocalist (and I’m not sure which one because there’s
3 people listed with vocals credits in the booklet) reminds me of Claudio
Sanchez from prog – rock geeks “Coheed And Cambria”, and it’s
these epic, almost dreamy passages that are the most enjoyable parts
of the album. While I can appreciate that a large part of the band’s
arsenal is its ability to scream the tits off a boar, the heavier vocals
take away from the feel of the more progressive parts of the record.
When you couple this with some of the lamest breakdowns I’ve heard
this year, you can only describe “Alesana’s” attempts at getting
the pit moving as laughable.  

The production on the record is
fairly impressive considering the amount of layered instrumentation
and vocal parts that are on display, but it’s almost too polished.
Personally, I feel a band like “Alesana” could benefit from a grittier
recording style, one which gives the metallic elements of their guitar
work a bit more grunt, because at certain stages in the record the riffs
sound really thin and lack any bottom end. 

Conclusion

“Alesana” are sure to attract
their fare share of critics, but at least they’re trying to put their
own spin on a genre which is rapidly losing all credibility. While this
record may not appeal to everyone, they get an “A” for effort. If
the band focused more on the melodic aspect of their song writing, rather
than the weak sounding breakdowns, their next record could be something
special. 

Tracklisting

  1. Icarus
  2. Ambrosia
  3. Pathetic, Ordinary
  4. Alchemy Sounded Good
    at the Time
  5. Daggers Speak Louder
    Than Words
  6. Last Three Letters
  7. Apology
  8. Tiltin

5 Responses to “Alesana – On Frail Wings Of Vanity And Wax”

  1. KYS-Cam

    ha ha, there were parts i fucking hated, but there were parts that were really good in a circa survive-esque way. had to count for something! ha ha

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