E-an-na - Nesfârşite review

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Band: E-an-na
Album: Nesfârşite
Release date: July 2019

01. Viu
02. Aer
03. Fiecare Gest Al Nostru [feat. Robert Cotoros]
04. Epitaf
05. Pielea
06. Pânda
07. Frica
08. Zadar [feat. Daniel Neagoe]
09. Izbândă Şi A Râvni
10. Apele Îngheţate
11. iO.tă
12. În Frânt [feat. Michalina Malisz & Archy Jay]
13. Mashiara [feat. Daniel Neagoe]

With how prolific Andrei Oltean is, I was a little concerned that he would get bored with E-an-na and drop it after releasing only 2016's Jiana EP, but it appears I had no reason to doubt; three years later, E-an-na returns with its first full-length. I still have "Înşivă" stuck in my head from last time, so let's go.

With Nesfârşite, E-an-na have joined the fraternity of "great" folk metal bands. In my review of Jiana, I alluded to a sense of spiritual continuity that grounds E-an-na, as it does the most laudable of traditional artists, and the strengths of Jiana remain in full force. Harmonized vocals warble and tangle with abandon, complementing Oltean's ragged growls; much credit goes to Roxana Amarandi for adding flavor, whether as a smoothing adhesive like Dalriada's Laura Binder or as a wild-eyed sense of danger like Anna Murphy. Impeccable timing governs the swing and crash of accordion, violin, flute, and bagpipes; when they sortie in tandem as on "Aer," "Zadar," or, really, most tracks, the energy they can muster is indescribable. That kind of unbridled spirit can take a much lesser album to high places, and for folk music it is especially inspiring.

In addition to cementing E-an-na as a name to be remembered among folk metal circles, Nesfârşite shows off the band's versatility across the musical spectrum. You'll hear some flashes of metalgaze, some electronics, still lots of Eluveitie, and an absolute party in "Pielea" that includes heavy swing (and I mean ballroom style). Most obvious after the folk side, however, is the fact that E-an-na have been hitting the gym recently.

From the opener, "Viu," E-an-na's interest in heavier styles of metal is evident, with dissonant chords and deep gutturals breaking up the frantic dance around the midsection. E-an-na have taken that substantial Spirit-era Eluveitie influence and tweaked the most Gothenburg elements into something properly metalcore, kind of like that Dirty Shirt album I reviewed earlier this year, but coming from a much more serious and aggressive angle. The guitars dive far into djent territory sometimes (joined by the pipes, of all things, on "Epitaf"; I'm reminded of Equilibrium's dubstep experiment of a few years back, and I commend the extent to which these bands are willing to test their limits); the full-on breakdowns in tracks like "În Frânt" have me wondering if we should invest in trying to make the "folkcore" label stick. While it's clear that this is where E-an-na are being pulled and it's sometimes interesting to hear metalcore brought into the folk mix, however, the straight metal sections in this vein are definitely the weakest spots on the album; they never last too long before being consumed by flutes and accordion, but bludgeoning chords and hardcore attitude are sticking points on an otherwise colorful and enrapturing work of traditional hues; the melodic side of this band is by far the best and I'd like to hear that nurtured even more.

Other than that, the worst thing that I can say about Nesfârşite is that it is a lot to take in. Running over an hour and harvesting multiple styles in that time, this album falls short of Jiana in terms of impact and consistency. "Aer," "Izbândă Şi A Râvni," and "Apele Ĭngheţate" are as good as anything on Jiana, though, and mostly I'm impressed by how much depth E-an-na were hiding all that time. If E-an-na can trim down a bit and focus more on their strengths, they'll only get better with the next one.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 8


Written on 25.08.2019 by I'm the reviewer, and that means my opinion is correct.


Comments: 2   [ 1 ignored ]   Visited by: 74 users
25.08.2019 - 23:44
Don't forget to mention that Eye Of Solitude's singer guests on this
- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.

2020 goodies
26.08.2019 - 00:16
Written by RaduP on 25.08.2019 at 23:44

Don't forget to mention that Eye Of Solitude's singer guests on this

Eye Of Solitude's singer guests on this.
Umaku naritai umaku naritai umaku naritai umaku naritai

I'm the Agent of Steel.

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