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Alesana - The Emptiness (Cover Artwork)

Alesana

Alesana: The EmptinessThe Emptiness (2010)
Fearless Records

Reviewer Rating: 2
User Rating:


Contributed by: SloaneDaleySloaneDaley
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The Emptiness represents album number three for post-hardcore outfit Alesana, and you might think that their choice of album title to be a little too self-reflexive. Although there is an improvement in the songwriting compared to 2008â??s Where Myth Fades to Legend, this album is an empty listen; there still is not a single positively remarkable quality about the band and the arrangements are muddled and stifling. As song titles like "In Her Tomb by the Sounding Sea" and "Annabel" indicate, the inspiration for the album's content comes from Edgar Allen Poe's haunting final poem, "Annabel Lee." When you take inspiration from such canonical source material like Alesana have, all kinds of problems arise, and it is quite obvious that their ambition exceeds their talent. 'E' for effort, though.

It appears as though very few musical artists can pull off spoken-word well on an album--Arab Strap, the Van Pelt and Adam Gnade spring to mind. Alesana are not one of these bands, as the album introduction on "Curse of the Virgin Canvas" shows. The end of that song sounds like a sound bite from The Little Mermaid in the worst possible way, and the band sees fit to not stop there. I understand that it is done in the name of cohesion and not to annoy the listener, but in the end all they have done is annoy the listener in a consistent and thorough way. There is nothing particularly engaging, interesting or revelatory about these passages; they sound like someone who has never read any poetry's approximation of what a poem should read like. The album would improve immediately without these inclusions.

As usual, there is a lot of different vocal styles at play here that range between a soft near-whisper to a bridge-trollian growl. Some of it isn't half-bad, but it appears as though no one in the band has any clue about dynamics and how to properly play these different styles off each other, as more often than not things just end up as one hot cacophonous mess. This lack of coordination spills over into the overall experience of the album. "The Artist" is a fun rhythmic bouncy number for a few seconds, then it is all about cleanly strummed guitars and soaring vocal melodies, and then before you know it breakdowns come out of nowhere. Even if there is anything to enjoy in this song, I couldn't tell you because the band insists on some kind of sensory overload for the listener when they--and this is just a suggestion--should focus on composition instead.

There are bits and pieces throughout where the band shows their talent with some nice metallic riffing or a melody that sticks, but taken as a whole it is quite bland and forgettable. The album closer "Annabel" sums up everything wrong with the album: It has a some great guitar parts throughout but with a runtime longer than seven minutes the song, more often than not, concedes to clichés and verbosity.

If you were a fan of the band before their last album it might serve you well to check out The Emptiness, but the improvements aren't enough to change the minds of anyone who has already written them off. However, hearing this, you can imagine the possibility of great things if they tightened things up, keep taking chances and quit running over each other.

 

 
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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.
KatieAPWTSIS (February 20, 2012)

2 stars? You're joking, right?
First off I'm going to say that Alesana is an absolutely PHENOMENAL band, and it's sad to see some of you do not realize this.
They work VERY hard on each of their albums, not taking into consideration what their fans would like to hear or how to attract more listeners. They create art they like and are proud of. Their stories they write are nothing less of brilliant and intriguing. This group of guys makes you THINK and use your brain. You MUST follow the story or you will definitely not understand what they're singing about. There are no words that can fully describe the true brilliance of their art.
Reading these crappy reviews by you naive people just puts a smile on their face, they feel sad that negativity is all you feel. They're very positive, humble, sweet people who do not deserve your words of hatred. Do you know how hard it is to find a group of guys who hasn't let the fame get to their heads, who are very intelligent and kind? These guys care about their fans and truly do appreciate our undying love and support for them. They try their best to take time after each show and meet each fan. Not many bands now do that. Numerous bands today are too worried about their self-image, how good they look, how many chicks (or guys) they can bang, and how many listeners they can get. They are not worried about making art they're proud of and are clearly very selfish, conceited individuals. Am I saying every band other than Alesana is like this? Not at all. What I am saying is that the majority of them are.
Take into consideration how hard this band has worked and that they're wonderful people who have not forgotten where they've come from.
Alesana is a very unique, original band. You will NEVER come across a band like them. Never. They sound AMAZING and have grown so much as musicians and writers since first starting out. I can bet that none of you, or any other band, could do what this group of musicians do. You could definitely not write such an unbelievable, twisted story and create such beautiful, intangible art. Anyone today can write a song about relationships or mourning the loss of a loved one. I'm so tired of having to listen to songs about the same things This includes sex, drugs, breaking up, love, and partying. Where's the originality? All the mainstream "artists" and "musicians" are frankly overrated and I'm unable to see why they're so famous. Alesana deserves sooo much more recognition and love. It's sad to see that some of you only care about how hardcore a band is or how much they scream. You do not care about what their lyrics are about or that they're rude, big-headed people. Yea, it's all about the music, but seriously. I don't know about you all, but I'm not willing to support and give thumbs up to someone who is already full of themselves and believes they're one of the best musicians out there.
Anyway, I give each of their albums a 5/5, not just because I'm no doubt their biggest fan, but because I know how hard they work and definitely know that they're great people who deserve a great review.
PMA!

telegraphrocks (February 15, 2010)

Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

...... ...........

....BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! !!

trainwreckcity (February 15, 2010)

why has no one mentioned that the cover looks like a giant infection-ridden vagina??

ps. band blows ridiculously hard

AligatorAlex (February 14, 2010)

This band is absolute crap, everything I've heard by them I've hated deeply.

AligatorAlex (February 14, 2010)

This band is absolute crap, everything I've heard by them I've absolutely hated.

sailin_on (February 14, 2010)

All this band does is disgrace anything that ever had to do with the hardcore genre

teaessare (February 13, 2010)

i hate how shit like this is also considered to be "post-hardcore"

24hourpriapism (February 13, 2010)

when will the swoopy hair become real combovers for these kinda bands? (not a kris roe joke. i still like the ataris, fuck you)

RedElephant (February 13, 2010)

i had a friend that made me watch these guys for a few songs at a Warped a few years ago. he was stoked on the guitar swings they kept doing.

danperrone (February 13, 2010)

i mean yikes.

danperrone (February 13, 2010)

jikes. thin review update.

Blackjaw_ (February 13, 2010)

Woo Adam Gnade!

I can't believe this even got 2 stars.

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