Alesana discovers ambrosia with latest album
Band's songs recount dark tale through allusions to literature
A Place Where The Sun Is Silent is Alesana's prequel to their previous album, The Emptiness and focuses on the Artist, a character who is trapped within a dream. The album is available on iTunes, on Amazon.com and at most local music stores.
"Imprisoned beneath the world where the soulless dwell. Lies a place that the damned call home. A place where the virtuous hide in fear, a place we see only in our nightmares. A place where the sun is silent."
Those were the very last words uttered by the band Alesana for their new record, A Place Where The Sun Is Silent. This is Alesana's fourth studio album and second concept recording featuring a plot based off of Dante Alighieri's The Inferno.
The album is a prequel to Alesana's previous work, The Emptiness, which is about a man named the Artist who awakens from a dream and wants to tell his love, Annabel, about the experience. Once he rolls over, the Artist finds that she is dead, leaving him in confusion about the circumstances that led to his beloved's demise.
The members of Alesana are all into classic literature and love writing songs about tragedies. The group's albums are based off of topics relative to Greek mythology, fables and Edgar Allan Poe, as shown in their works: On Frail Wings Of Vanity And Wax, Where Myth Fades To Legend and The Emptiness, respectively.
The latter starts off with the Artist, who awakens within a dream within a dream, confused about the surrounding forest and running to escape some sort of horror chasing him. Once he makes it out of the forest, the Artist sees the Golden City, a utopia of sorts, off into the distance. As he approaches the front gates, the Artist turns his head and notices the Temptress, a woman who seduces men, hiding beneath a veil to conceal her beauty.
Once the Artist sees the Temptress, the horror disappears, but little does he know that she will be his downfall. Due to the Temptress' beauty, the Artist cannot help but follow her into a rundown house. Once there, the woman disappears, thus leaving the Artist to search for her throughout the rest of the album.
I have four favorite songs on this record: "The Dark Wood of Error," "The Temptress," "Circle VII Sins of the Lion" and "Vestige." "The Dark Wood of Error," which is the first song on the album, begins slow in a duet between with vocalists Shawn and Melissa Milke. Within the song, the siblings sing about the Artist within the forest, suggesting that the region is alive and crying out for something.
"I recommend this album as a buy because the story is amazing and keeps the audience interested in what is going on. The characters, the setting and the music are unforgettable, and use a proper tone throughout the storyline." --Daniel Andrew, '12
The next song that I enjoy is "The Temptress," which is about the Artist explaining to the Temptress the torture he experiences from his passion for her. Though lyrics like: "My love, try to understand me when I say you torture me / Your lips they beg for me to get you alone / You taste so sweet cruel temptress," validate the difficulty the Artist experiences, the song has a rather upbeat feel, which is something that I enjoy.
Out of all of the songs on the album, "Circle VII: Sins of the Lion" is my favorite because the storyline is dark, blaring and has a varying tempo within the track. In this song, the Artist is angry with the Temptress because she was the one who caused him to stray from his path towards the Golden City: "I'm the one who has to swallow water, that's what I get for chasing after you! / You should be hanging by your neck, swinging there silently!" Although this line is harsh, I understand the rage he feels towards the Temptress and the music compliments the tension between the two characters extremely well.
The last song I enjoy is "Vestige," which takes place after the Artist watches the horror defeat the Temptress. During this song, the Artist washes up on a beach, which is peaceful and perfect. The Artist aspires to stay there forever, but knows that if he wants to escape the dream then he must move forward. "Time is melting away, I can't explain but my eyes are begging to stay / I must say a sunny day helps to push the memories away / Caution must be obeyed on an island of decayed." Unlike the rest of the album, this song incorporates peaceful tones created on a piano, which I enjoy because it is extremely different from the band's typical music numbers.
The story of A Place Where The Sun Is Silent is simply amazing. Alesana did such a great job with their writing and I am sad that this may be the end of the musical tale about the Artist because I throughly enjoy the character, which I feel resembles Poe. Being a fan of horror movies, I find the story within this album compliments those elements very well, leaving me entertained after every track.
Compared to Alesana's previous records, musically, this album is very different because of the slow opening duet of the Milkes. Every song is unique and contains ranging tempos, clean vocals and screams to give the proper tone that best fits the story.
While I feel it is prudent to warn viewers that Alesana is not a Christian band and uses phrases that can be misinterpreted, they are not meant to offend individuals in anyway whatsoever. The group's lyrics do not frequently contain curse words, except on occasion when prudent to the storyline, such as referring to elements of literature.
Fans who have listened to Alesana's past albums will be pleased with this record, but I felt there are two things that could have been improved. Unlike previous albums, the volume of the narrative is to low and difficult to understand. The last thing that disappointed me was the screamers' highs, which are too raspy and hard to comprehend on some of the songs, but after a while you get use to it.
I recommend this album as a buy because the story is amazing and keeps the audience interested in what is going on. The characters, the setting and the music are unforgettable, and use a proper tone throughout the storyline.
A Place Where The Sun Is Silent can be purchased on iTunes, Amazon, or at your local music store.
For more music reviews, read the Jan. 26 article, 'Give us Rest' preaches band's final message.