Beginning in Baltimore and solidifying its lineup in Raleigh, NC, Alesana formed in October 2004 around guitarist/vocalist Shawn Milke, guitarist Patrick Thompson, vocalist Dennis Lee, bassist Steven Tomany, and drummer Daniel Magnuson. Their blend of post-hardcore and metal with pop hooks and earnest lyrics quickly turned Alesana into a fixture in their hometown scene, and they became the first signing to local indie Tragic Hero Records, releasing their debut EP, Try This with Your Eyes Closed, in mid-June 2005. Through word of mouth and Internet promotions, the album sold well online and created a buzz among screamo fans. Beefing up their sound, Alesana eventually added new drummer Jeremy Bryan and third guitarist/vocalist Adam Ferguson in time for their first U.S. tour, even playing a spot at the Cornerstone Festival. The album On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax appeared in summer 2006, and all of this activity ultimately led to a deal with California's Fearless Records by the year's end. The label then reissued On Frail Wings with new artwork and bonus features in March 2007.