EPs have always been a bit of a tease, if we are being perfectly honest. Sure, some will claim that some of the best artistry and works have been formulated into a shortened collection of tunes – honestly, it is just a matter of opinion, folks.
My opinion of an album (full or shortened – doesn’t really matter) stems on its ability to sustain a certain force from beginning to end. In this perfect instance, a great record will transform you into a state of complete and utter pleasure, shock and many other fancy adjectives expressing, well, amazement.
Getting to the actual topic (I’m such a conversationalist), Alesana has decidedly brought about one of these shortened collections we all know as an extended play, in the form of an album teaser (ah, yes, Jarrod had a point to that “tease” comment from before – clever trick). At some point, hopefully in late 2014, the boys from the northern Carolina will give their fans a full dose of musical goodness – but for now, we have this little spectacle to marvel over.
The Decade EP starts with a fairly standard intro, which is mildly irritating (personal opinion) considering the damned thing only has six tracks to begin with. “Praeludium” is nothing overly special, with a decent musical arrangement flowing behind vocalist/guitarist Shawn Milke’s speaking/chanting combination. The uplifting second half of the opener is considerably more melodic than most of what their past works have showcased – and luckily, this is only a taste of what is to come.
The transition between an intro and the second track is always a key element, if in fact you choose to use that particular opening style. In this case, like with most things the band does, the progression is seamless.
Rather than dig too deeply into each of the five (actual) songs of the EP, a summary should do the trick just fine. If I may, this is the part of the album breakdown where I fan out – I promise not to be overly obnoxious, though. Alesana do quite a few things extraordinarily. First, Milke is an impressive storyteller, and although this cut does not follow the trilogy format – or the typical backdrop as their previous full-lengths – it does tell the story of Alesana. Think on this, the band has been alive for ten years now – so they release The Decade EP – clever. Actually, it is more common sense than anything. Second, they have an amazing ability of bordering furious panic attacks of breakdown-infused metalcore, with some of the catchiest damn rhythms and choruses you have ever had the pleasure of listening to (if you choose to, that is). Shout-out to “Deja Vu All Over Again” due to its sheer dominance over your reluctance to dance. Go ahead, try and not jig to this track – I triple-dog dare you. Third, whether the band is releasing a full-fledged LP, or they put out a lonesome single (January 9th release of “Fatima Rusalka”), their consistency is phenomenal.
At the end of the day, fans of Alesana will be fully invested and in support of the collection’s balance of brutality and pop-factor. Aside from the obvious fact that my interpretation of the EP is somewhat biased, the band’s steady musical growth and their ability to fully reach out to their listeners/followers and capture their full attention with each and every release (no matter the quantity) – it is simply prodigious.