A concept album based on Annabel Lee, the last complete poem written by Edgar Allen Poe, The Emptiness finds Alesana delivering an album of solid screamo with a decidedly narrative angle. Musically, the album has everything you’d expect from these guys. Harmonized guitar riffs create a moody canvas for the vocals, which alternate from soaring to tortured and back again, to tell their dark tale, with the whole thing punctuated by uplifting choruses and crushing breakdowns. What sets The Emptiness apart from similar albums is the narrative thread that’s woven between the songs. The record tells the story of a man known as “The Artist” who wakes up to find his lady love, “Annabel,” murdered in his bed. Upon his realization of what's happened, the story spirals into a macabre journey filled with rage, murder, guilt, and insanity. Breaking up the album are four interludes, narrative sections that help to string the listener along from one act to another. Musically, Alesana have created an album that will be a surefire pleaser for fans of the genre. The music captures the swirling tempest of emotions presented in the narrative, almost bordering on theatrical. What might give the album a wider appeal is the fact that Alesana are trying to tell a story (albeit a distinctly emo story) with their album. Whether you’re a fan or not, the fact that the band was bold enough to attempt to tame the daunting beast that is the concept album should warrant at least one listen from anyone interested in experiencing this dark musical tale.
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AllMusic Review by Gregory Heaney