Ashaena is a new band from Bârlad of Romania. They begun in 2006 as the personal project of Cosmin Hultanu, but eventually they got a full line-up with 6 members. They describe their music as Moldavian pagan metal and actually that’s what they play: pagan metal with folk and black elements honoring their ancestors’ traditions and culture. They also state they are far away from the NS ideology.
“Cei Născuţi Din Pământ” (“The Ones Born from the Soil”) is their debut album and I find it quite interesting. Most of the songs of this album were also released as a demo in 2006. Their music is basically epic heavy metal with a pagan folk mood and an underground sound. They don’t have the best production, but it’s more than ok for the atmosphere of their music. There are 9 songs in the album plus 9 interludes in between them. Some parts of their songs are very good and others need improvement. The song structures are somehow loose and you can find many different music styles in this album: epic metal, pagan black metal, acoustic, folk, ambient… Most of the time their music is from slow to mid tempo, with a few faster and more aggressive outbursts, though never becoming too extreme. They are not afraid to experiment and they are far away from a typical pagan metal band. On the other hand there are many things that need improvement. The most obvious of them is the clean vocals, that very often sound almost out of tune, while the brutal ones are ok. Of course this epic style of singing is based more on the feeling and less on the accuracy, but they still need improvement.
Overall Ashaena make an honest effort showing their respect to their country and their roots. All lyrics deal with themes influenced by the Romanian folklore and are sung in their native language. With some sound improvements and a more balanced songwriting they can do much better things in the future. I see this release more like an official demo than a debut album. You can check them on their Facebook and myspace pages.
Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos