ALBUM: Alesana – Confessions

Release Date: April 21st 2015
Label: Revival Recordings


Alesana‘s long awaited final instalment of their Annabelle triology is a frustratingly dissapointing one that is, for the majority of its extensive duration, overdrawn and stylistically confused. On paper, ‘Confessions’ seems promising, boasting an intriguing concept, centered on the critically acclaimed ‘The Time Quintet’ series and including a total of four years preparation. All high hopes, however, are smudged by what is conveyed as a lackadaisical approach to writing and arranging the breadth of ‘Confessions’.

Progressive elements are the LP’s main pitfall, as sections often lack flow and can become perplexing without paying close attention. Melodies and hooks are often recycled and repeated, creating an exhausting deja vu like experience. Although tracks like ‘Comedy Of Errors’ and ‘Oh, The Mighty Have Fallen’ show some promise, they feel unashamedly prolonged and tired.

Samples within tracks ‘It Was A Dark And Stormy Night’ and ‘Fatal Optimist’ feel terribly misplaced and are often disengaging. Although these samples may be connected to the concept of the album, more consideration should have been given to their arrangement.

Guest vocalist, Melissa Mike, helps to create variation and depth, but it’s extremely underutilized. Her contribution to the album is awfully curious as her presence, particularly on tracks ‘Oh, The Might Have Fallen’ and ‘The Puppeteer’, feels needless and awkward.

‘Fatal Optimist’ is potentially the record’s strongest offering, mastering everything the six-piece have toyed with across the album’s duration, as well as remaining at a suitable three minutes. Clean vocalist Shawn Milke is on top form, as his vocals gracefully soar during the lines “I fear the emptiness will shallow me whole / This is my confession”.

After a promising start, ‘The Puppeteer’ deviates into peculiar territory, as it lacks flow and feels largely disorganised, especially when introducing guest vocalist, Melissa Mike. Jake Campbell‘s technical fretwork is the track’s main redeeming quality, as it remains creative throughout the ever changing framework.

After a torturous four year wait for fans, it’s unfortunate that ‘Confessions’ is an unsatisfactory conclusion to what began as a revered series of concept records. The album does, however, prove that they’re a talented and capable body of musicians, as countless riffs and hooks are expertly crafted. The six-piece’s main sticking point is, simply, how these ideas are formulated.

Written by Kieran Harris