ASHAENA - Calea
Loud Rage Music
I got into the whole pagan/folk metal genre years ago to the point of being obsessive and I'm glad I did. While at the time plenty of people in the music media were making jokes about it. I ignored em and, thanks to devoted fans in the alternative music media, discovered some truly great music from Europe and elsewhere. After a few years the media stopped laughing and now cover it with respect. So I'm always on the lookout for bands in that genre from different countries I have never heard anything from. ASHAENA from Romania fits that bill.
The pagan/folk metal genre is not as ridged as some believe it to be. There are various styles employed by bands from across the spectrum, some more orthodox than others. ASHAENA stands closer to the orthodox side of the genre in that they bring in lot of traditional folk instrumentation to their songs. Also their music is influenced by Romanian mythology, folklore and history. Bands that dedicate their music to keeping alive old traditions are my favorite of the whole pagan/folk metal genre.
Calea is the band's second full length and it's been a good six years since their last one. There are so many cool things going on here musically. The first obvious point to make is how ASHAENA incorporates different metal styles into their overall sound whether it's melodic death, traditional metal and of course some blackened touches. Vocals are sung in both harsh/guttural and clean sounding. Strangely enough the vocals take a back seat to the instrumentation on most of this. All in all a fine release.