Alesana - On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax [reissue] (Cover Artwork)


Alesana: On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax [reissue]On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax [reissue] (2007)
Fearless Records

Reviewer Rating: 2.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: GlassPipeMurderGlassPipeMurder
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Dante is stoked. Now that the awkward inside joke is out of the way, it's all downhill from here. Like so many post-hardcore bands in the midst of an emo boom, Alesana shows skill while misusing their talent. Interesting time signatures, weaving guitar patterns, and tumultuous crescendos make it .
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Dante is stoked. Now that the awkward inside joke is out of the way, it's all downhill from here.

Like so many post-hardcore bands in the midst of an emo boom, Alesana shows skill while misusing their talent. Interesting time signatures, weaving guitar patterns, and tumultuous crescendos make it hard not to like this band, but not hard enough.

On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax isn't actually new material from Alesana, but rather a re-release of their 2006 sophomore effort on Tragic Hero Records. And to be cynical without contempt, it's not hard to see why Fearless thought they would be a good signing. Theoretically, Alesana could draw fans from both the emo and post-hardcore persuasions (as if the two weren't already like peanut butter and jelly), as well as a more elegiac goth nuance. As goes the latest adage: If the Misfits shirt fits, wear it.

While it's far too easy to get lost in the inundated web of screams and wails, there are some very cool things going on in a number of Vanity and Wax's tunes. Though "Tilting the Hourglass" clashes Thursday and Avenged Sevenfold with a brief Dashboard interlude, a measure of hostile spoken word is layered underneath the melodic cries of vocalist Dennis Lee, breaking for a split second as a solitary bass pluck sounds like the ringing of a fight bell, igniting the assembly into a double-bass choir. The pairing of raw screams with labored melodies falls well only once on Vanity and Wax, in the gallingly catchy "Sirens Soliloquy," which also bears the mark of the album's most uninhibited punk drive.

Judged temperately, about half the disc is salvageable. The other half is a trove of recklessly insipid drama and noise. As if over five minutes of the hackneyed "Apology" wasn't enough, an even worse four-minute remix brings up the rear, while the dreadfully overdone piano balladry of "Third Temptation of Paris" digs deeper yet into the proverbial hole. And while we're on the subject of digging holes, if there's one thing that really grinds my gears, it's Christian bands that part ways with their integrity for attempted (and failed) badassery. It's fine if you're gonna play the Cornerstone Festival and pander to that audience, but don't go naming your songs "Congratulations, I Hate You" and "Daggers Speak Louder than Words." You're not fooling anyone.

The undeniably talented post-hardcore of Alesana was most likely meant to replace the Fearless-departed Fully Down -- much like Brazil was brought in to fill the giant moonboots of At the Drive-In -- and like Brazil, Alesana comes up short. For even though the band had no problem crafting intricate and well-composed music, the nausea factor trumps all. As long as Hot Cross records are still being pressed, there's little reason to seek post-hardcore nĂ¼-screamo that's as histrionic and saturated as Vanity and Wax.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
aggiiiiee (April 18, 2009)

best fucking band EVER.
saw them live, amazing.
theyre very entertaining.
and just great overall.

TEARS (March 25, 2009)

You guys are like so hot!!! I really want to see you guy's
LUV yA! @$^$*

torma656 (February 23, 2009)

I really hate this album for a long time, but the more I listen to the more I appreciate it, I'd say they did a better job on their new album.

igotnothin44 (September 4, 2008)

I kno everyone is bashing the band pretty bad... but this is one of my favorite bands now. so if you dont like it or "cant see how anyone could like this." I would like to throw it out there that I do and it appeals to me and i respect all of your opinions. thanks.

Mental_Decay (September 19, 2007)

My girlfriend likes this band. She makes me listen to them in my car.

I don't let her in my car anymore.

SilentStorms (September 19, 2007)


Agreed. Do you also think My Chemical Romance and The Used are screamo too? You probably do, and that's why great bands in that genre have to say, "awww shit, we ain't screamo, because we don't suck ass." True story. Score is for real screamo:

Neil Perry
Off Minor
Funeral Diner
June Paik


AphasiacIIC (September 18, 2007)

nocigar, if you think this is screamo you dont know what screamo is

nocigar (September 18, 2007)

score is for screamo. and this bands name. and the album art.

skaboom (September 18, 2007)

No hyperbole at all, this is the worst screamo band I have ever heard. They make FFTL sound...well not good, but tolerable.

HumanUnkind (September 18, 2007)

Saw this band at Warped Tour and they were reallllly bad.

Frogtown706 (September 18, 2007)

I have only heard "Ambrosia" and that song was pretty much one of the worst songs I have ever heard

Archangel (September 18, 2007)

So there's this site called www.imeem.com, where you can sign up and listen to songs while at work. And on the side of the page, they'll offer you similar, recommended music. And for some fucking reason, Circle Takes the Square and Pg.99 and a hundred others are linked to this band. I tried one of their songs, and WHAT the FUCK. It's awful.

PinkPenguin (September 18, 2007)

this album is kinda cool and kinda not, just like the review says... its got some totally weird moments but overall its pretty good if you're into this style of music

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