On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax is the debut full length album by Alesana. It was originally released on June 6, 2006 by Tragic Hero Records, but when the band joined Fearless Records, it was re-released on March 20, 2007 with two bonus tracks, four live videos, and an interview with the newer label. The title refers to the Greek myth of Icarus.
Icarus- This refers to the Greek legend of Icarus, who died trying to escape the island of Crete on wings built by his father, by vainly ignoring his father's warnings that the wings could melt if he flew too close to the sun.
Pathetic, Ordinary- This refers to the Greek legend of Hades' lust for Zeus' and Demeter's daughter Persephone. She is kidnapped by demons and brought to the underworld, where Hades holds her as his queen. Once Zeus hears, he demands Hades to release her, but Hades had convinced Persephone to eat pomegranate seeds of the underworld, therefore binding her to the underworld. In order to compromise, Zeus allowed Hades to have her for a third of the year, while she returns to the surface for the other two-thirds of the year.
Alchemy Sounded Good At The Time- This song is based on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. After Eurydice dies by falling into a pit of vipers while trying to escape from Sator, a half-man half-goat demon, Orpheus will not accept it, so he ventures to the underworld to retrieve his love. He tricks the ferryman into letting him across, and uses his amazing musical talent to make it past Cerberus, the three-headed dog monster guardian of the underworld. Hades is so impressed, he allows Orpheus to have Eurydice back,as long as during the entire journey back, until they reached the surface, he could not look back to verify that she was behind him. Eventually he couldn't bear it, and looked back, causing Eurydice to be sucked back down to Hades.
Nero's Decay- This song refers to the story of the Roman emperor Nero. He was infamous for his tyranny, calling many executions, including those of his mother and stepbrother. He then blames the Great Fire of Rome on Christians, in order to deflect the blame from himself. In the end, a revolt led by Gaius Julius Vindex, which results in his loss of power, and rather than face public execution, he commits suicide on 9 June 68.
Third Temptation of Paris - This song refers to the epic fall of Troy. Paris is the brother of Hector and son of king Priam, king of troy. Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite offered Paris a promise to get the apple of discord thrown by Eris. Hera promised him political power, Athena promised him war victories, Cleverly, Aphrodite promised him the most beautiful woman on earth which is Helen of Sparta, wife of king Menelaus which is his third temptation. When Menelaus know of this, he asked help for his brother Agamemnon which led to Trojan war.
Ambrosia is based on the Golden Touch of King Midas.
Tilting the Hourglass is a reference to Man in the Iron Mask, a notable prisoner in the late 17th century.