Guest review by thecrimson: Alesana “A Place Where the Sun Is Silent” (2011)

October 20, 2011

Alesana is back bitches! That’s right. The North Carolina sextet returns with their fourth studio album called A Place Where the Sun Is Silent. I have to say that signing to Epitaph Records was a good move ’cause it is their best album so far. As all Alesana albums, this one also tells a story, this time based on Dante’s Inferno. It’s lighter than previous ones considering vocals. Shawn took the crown and left Dennis a little aside. Screaming at the top of your lungs every night can be very exhaustive and harmful for health so I guess after seven years Dennis finally got tired. Nevertheless, without many Dennis’ verses the album is still great. Shawn’s vocals are clean and easy on ear. Also Dennis’ glows are nicely done. There is no surprise in lyrics though. Alesana is still Alesana. Lyrics are about undying (and also unrequited) love, risking everything for that special person and in the process getting hurt, losing mind and after all, seeking redemption (for being stupid and naive hehehe). Oh yes, they scream As the earth quakes I will deflower you! Well, it might be a little too late Shawn, but I appreciate the thought. Call me later ^^. Anyway I must say that bridges and choruses are very catchy. Often Shawn’s singing is merged with Dennis’ screaming. That is a very powerful combination which makes your endorphins burst. A few songs hold (decent) breakdowns (like The Temptress and Welcome To The Vanity Faire). Guitarists did a great job. Riffs may not be very memorable but they don’t seem to be out of place so together with lyrics they create a whole, beautiful composition. In addition, album includes a wide range of instruments beside standard ones. You can hear piano, violin, trumpet and even a horn. Album is extremely good mixed. Proportions between instruments and vocals are well balanced. When listening to it I have an impression of being transported to some magical and mysterious place. Also somewhere in my (tiny) brain the melodies recall crazy carnival party in Venice. So put the mask on and let yourself be invited to the forbidden dance.

Verdict: 10/10

(Very) Good sides: Beyond the Sacred Glass, The Fiend, The Temptress, The Wanderer

Bad sides:  if I must chose it would be The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Marionettes (there is something disturbing about the chorus…)

Aside little flaws A Place Where the Sun Is Silent is the first album since Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory (and that was a looooong time ago) that captured my heart, mind and stimulated my imagination on a huge scale. After first listening I was high. Really.

Listen to Circle VII: Sins of the Lion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fp-LMRs1fb0

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