Review: Alesana – Fatima Rusalka (Single)

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Artist: Alesana
Album: Fatima Rusalka – Single
Rating: 5/5

Raleigh’s post-hardcore legends, Alesana have debuted the lead single from their upcoming 5th studio album. The single, “Fatima Rusalka” bridges the gap between 2011’s “A Place Where the Sun is Silent” and the new album and sets the scene for the explosive conclusion of the captivating and extremely compelling trilogy that started with 2010’s “The Emptiness”. It’s one of their heaviest tracks to date and features some really talented guest vocalists. Melissa Milke, vocalist/guitarist Shawn Milke’s sister and Joshua Grosscup of Revival Recordings band MeGosh really bring something to the table on this track. Melissa, as most Alesana fans may know, has been featured on just about every Alesana album to date. However, it’s Josh’s part that really captivated me because of the emotion conveyed in his voice.

This track seems to explain the relationship between two historic characters in one person and our star, Annabel. The characters, Fatima and Rusalka who are polar opposites of one another. Fatima, the good side of the two, searches for the meaning behind her existence and why she is cursed. While Rusalka, the more sinister side, embraces the curse and uses it to her advantage. The protagonist of the story meets this character and is instantly reminded of Annabel. “An anguished melody reveals to me a memory of love once lost.” However, Rusalka seems to be conspiring ways to destroy him even more. I think it’s pretty interesting, given that the protagonist also has an antagonistic side to him, if you recall the story so far. So, naturally, he is drawn to both sides, Fatima and Rusalka. Fatima reminds him of Annabel, causing him to fall in love with her. Rusalka appeals to his more sadistic side and balances out the two. Who will prevail in this story of love, loss and deception? We’ll have to wait for the rest of the story to figure that out, but I can already tell that this is going to be a conclusion of epic proportions.

The track starts off with Melissa telling Fatima and Rusalka’s background and where they fit in history. Then, almost too abruptly, the track gets a jolting reality check as Dennis showcases his trademark low growls. The track gets progressively darker, yet softer as it goes on. Josh’s part, “Hold tight and never let me go/The lies we said we’ll bury with the rest/Oh, the senselessness of all this suffering/Feel it again and over again, let it begin” gave me chills and has given me chills every time I’ve listened to it since.

Overall, this new direction that Alesana has decided to take is really intriguing. I love that they’re bringing the heavier side back and, while I hope there are more tracks like this on the new album, I hope there are quite a few surprises in the story to bring it to a great close. Be on the lookout for Alesana’s new album, as-of-yet untitled, to hit your ears sometime in 2014! If they continue in this direction, I see their live show getting even more captivating! The single is set to hit iTunes on Christmas Eve so be sure to pick it up and support this ever-evolving group of incredible musicians!

Listen to “Fatima Rusalka” 

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