When I was a whipper-snapper I was a bit of an emo kid. It’s not something I’m particularly ashamed of, but not something I tend to broadcast either, especially since the Daily Mail’s emo hate campaign a few years ago. I know my Gran, especially, was caught up the hype, but try as she might to wean me off my black eyeliner and chipped nail varnish, I simply would not relinquish my albums of ‘guitar-based rock with emotional lyrics’ . Something about those lyrics spoke to my teenage, angst-ridden, “life is so difficult” soul. It’s not really surprising that I ended up being a medievalist when much of the literature from the Middle Ages is basically just proto-emo (see especially Dante’s Vita nuova when the protagonist goes all “woe is me, I’m going to top myself. Beatrice won’t look at me, ergo my life is over”).
Therefore I was totally unsurpised to learn that North-Carolina based rock bank, Alesana‘s new album, ‘A Place Where the Sun is Silent’ is based on Dante’s Comedy. It’s a “concept album” which uses different cantos of the Inferno to express extremely emo sentiments which can be found in abundance in Dante’s works.
The Full Tracklist:
Act One: The Gate
1. The Dark Wood Of Error- 2:13
2. A Forbidden Dance- 3:53
3. Hand In Hand With The Damned- 4:36
4. Beyond The Sacred Glass- 6:03
5. The Temptress- 4:21
6. Circle VII: Sins Of The Lion- 4:09
7. Vestige- 2:58
8. Lullaby Of The Crucified- 4:48
Act Two: The Immortal Sill
1. Before Him All Shall Scatter- 0:54
2. Labyrinth- 4:04
3. The Fiend- 3:57
4. Welcome To The Vanity Faire- 4:37
5. The Wanderer- 1:37
6. A Gilded Masquerade- 4:35
7. The Best Laid Plans Of Mice And Marionettes- 5:35
8. And Now For The Final Illusion- 3:43
Since the album has only just been released within the last few weeks, and since I’m currently riding a wave of extreme poverty, I haven’t actually purchased it yet to add to my ever-growing record collection. But I have been listening to it quite a lot on YouTube and already have a few favourite tracks. I particularly like ‘The Dark Wood of Error’, since the majority of it is in Italian and is just an extended quotation from Canto I, and ‘Before Him All Shall Scatter’ is also really good. It’s just someone reciting the poem over really eerie background music. It’s seriously bizarre, but I totally love it!
I don’t know how many emo-Dante-enthusiasts there are out there, but I’d urge you to download some of these tracks! It makes the Comedy seem completely relevant to the 21st century (which, of course it is anyway…), plus you know how easy it is to remember song lyrics? Well you could just listen to the parts of the poem in song-form and you’ll be able to quote him verbatim. Hmmm… not so evil now, are we, Daily Mail??