EP review: Jiana – E-an-na

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The Grim Reader is always open to new listening experiences within the metal genre. E-an-na is a folk metal band from Romania and this is their most recent release, Jiana.

When I think of folk metal I think about bands such as Skyclad, Finntroll, Turisas, Equilibrium and Eluveitie. I’d even say that bands such as Nightwish contain some folk elements on their albums. Folk metal songs often contain traditional folk instruments alongside the usual guitar, bass and drums and the lyrical content is often found to be about myth and legend. It is often quite fantastical, which I find really adds to the listening experience.

E-an-na‘s Jiana starts off brilliantly with the excellent Inslva. This track has a truly epic vibe to it and gives the listener everything they want from a folk metal track: Passionate death style vocals, melodic sections filled with keys and traditional folk instruments and moments where the pace picks up into a rousing gallop. Hora pe furate is shorter but serves up a sizeable rowdy tune that one can imagine drinking and dancing along to long into the night. The title track, Jiana, to my ears is the best track here. I love the energy in the verse, the blast beats, the guitar riffs, pretty much everything about this track. Sivoi is another uplifting track. The folk-fused intro gives way to black metal-tinged guitar lick and a passionate verse. I really like the flute-led break during this track too. The final track, Codru, has some Turisas about it; a really epic beginning leads into a gang chanted verse and similarly with Sivoi this track also allows the listener to breathe with a melodic passage complete with whispered vocals breaking the festivities up nicely.

Jiana is a fine folk metal record. E-an-na can easily rub shoulders alongside some of the best acts in the genre with this up-tempo, rousing release.

 

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Genesis

 

The band was founded in 2014, when Andrei (vocals, traditional instruments) and Ovidiu (guitars) were involved in the black metal band Prohod as the main project, the two wishing to start a folk metal band. Shortly after, Dragoș (bass), Alex (guitar – also bandmate in Prohod, WarChant) and Paul (drums) join.  Recently, Edwin (accordion & backing vocals) from WarChant also joined. Sadly, starting June 2016, he is forced to leave the band, due to personal issues, unrelated to the band. As a consequence of this, the very talented Ioana Popescu (keyboards), who is a student at the Braşov Music Academy, joins the band. Roxana Amarandi is the newest member, “part-time”, her appearance on the stage depending on her other band, Era Divina. She is in charge of the violin and backing vocals, making the band sound complete.

 

Awards

Metalhead Awards 2015 – “Best Metal Newcomer” – 2nd place (also nominated for “Best Romanian Album”, “Best Romanian Show”)

Jaxx Rock Battle 2016 – 2nd place

Wacken Metal Battle (Germany) 2017 – 2nd place

 

2016

 

The band combines the classical folk metal approach with traditional Romanian elements and sequences of modern metal. The first four singles have been received very well by the audience, shortly gathering hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube.

They played important festivals like Metalhead Meeting, Rockstadt Extreme Fest, Kavarna Rock Fest, Celtic Transilvania, Maximum Rock Fest etc.

 

In September 2016, the band started their tour “Jocurile Jienei”, the purpose of the tour being to promote the newest material, the debut EP “Jiana”. The EP was digitally released on 30. september 2016 on Bandcamp, and physically in October 2016, through the polish label “Art of the Night Production”. The tour consists of over 20 locations within Romania, being the biggest Romanian metal tour for the last few years.

 

2017

 

Following this debut tour, another one takes place in March-April 2017: the “Folkcore Detour”, along with Dirty Shirt and The Transylvania National Folklore Ensemble, a production consisting of over 50 people, which took place in big and select venues, like the local Culture Houses or the Roman Arenas in Bucharest. Being a more musically diverse type of tour, it drew in not only the average concert going metalhead but also people with different music taste/of a different age than usually come to regular metal shows.

 

The next tour was the first European Tour of the band: “The New Wave of Folk Metal 2017”, along with Niburta and Netherfell. The tour consisted of 7 concerts in the 3 home countries of the bands.

 

The bands official YouTube channel surpasses one million singular views.

 

The summer of 2017 means a new level regarding the bands live activity. The 3rd tour of 2017 takes place, consisting of several club shows, and some important festivals (Revolution, Danube Rock, Măgura Wave, Top T, and others). The tour is titled, suggestively, “Schimbarea sunteţi voi Înşivă”, which roughly translates as “You Yourselves are the change”. The climax of this tour is the fact that the band played at Wacken Open Air 2017, in Germany, representing Romania in the Wacken Metal Battle. E-an-na wins here the second prize, rendering Romania into being the only country that got to be in the top 5 twice in the whole history of Wacken Metal Battle.

 

October 2017 is marked by two other important events in the existence of a band: playing a show as an opening act for the finnish band Wintersun, and releasing a new single, called “Epitaf”.

2017 ends with another big show in Bucharest, at Arenele Romane, opening for Bucovina, where the band plays in front of 2000 people.

 

Concept

 

The concept “E-an-na” represents mainly a metaphysical world, in which the universal laws to which we are used to do not apply.  It’s a world forged for those who want to depart from this world, which is entropic and filled with negative thoughts, so they can fully focus on the things that matter, that give us a reason to live. It’s a world for those wanting to follow their own way, without being distracted by little, meaningless things. The band is very dedicated to this idea, and even created their own alphabet, which is often used for the graphics of their releases, as well as for their logo.

 


 

Released materials:

 

Epitaf – Single 28.10.2017 (mixed & mastered by Bornuz Vlad, Blana Studio):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOwtLP1cIIU&index=10&list=PLk9L-vhgJUfxhmPBGn5pPYKTrxZ958LJJ

 

Jiana – EP 20.09.2016 (mixed & mastered by Bornuz Vlad, Blana Studio):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwYcnRrfY5k&list=PLk9L-vhgJUfw5uCs2ZeEmU2ICsorV6zLW

https://e-an-na.bandcamp.com/album/jiana

 

Cei Căzuţi – Single 15.05.2016 (mixed & mastered by Bornuz Vlad, Studio Digital Dark Vision):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCuImvj4pvw&index=4&list=PLk9L-vhgJUfxhmPBGn5pPYKTrxZ958LJJ

Guest: Raluca “Striga” Damian – panflute

 

Sârbă Ciobănească – Single 29.02.2016 (mixed & mastered by Bornuz Vlad, Studio Digital Dark Vision):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHoxmHLPuQ4&index=7&list=PLk9L-vhgJUfzL8D3VfkZs_sagC2TZ1rDy

 

Tinca Popii – Single 24.12.2015 (mixed & mastered by Marius Costache, Studio 148):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYmdlDE6uDM&index=5&list=PLk9L-vhgJUfzL8D3VfkZs_sagC2TZ1rDy

Guest : Ionuţ Cristian Bugnar (Sibiu Philharmonic Orchestra) – violin

 

Jiana – Single 22.09.2015 (mixed & mastered by Marius Costache, Studio 148) :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgReQ0d_qlk&index=2&list=PLk9L-vhgJUfzL8D3VfkZs_sagC2TZ1rDy

Guest : Mihai Oltean – gang vocals

 

 

 

 

 

Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eanna.romania/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/EannaRomania

Bandcamp: https://e-an-na.bandcamp.com/

Contact management / booking: 

Promusic Events / Maximum Rock

nelu@promusicevents.ro

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