Album premiere: Ashaena's 'Calea' is as deep as it is powerful

We've done our best to bring you the best of the best, not just on labels you know, but from the farthest reaches of the world. And occasionally, we have the chance to be a part of something special. Such is the case today, as we join with our other media partners and the folks at Loud Rage Music to bring you an early stream of Calea, the new album from Romanian Pagan blackened folk metallers Ashaena.

It isn't just that the album is tremendous. It is. But where it succeeds is where so many before it have failed: depth. It was clear after hearing Mos Ors, the album's finale, that something out of the ordinary was happening. Soothing melodies temper heavy percussion, without dulling the blade that is the burgeoning instrumental below. That is a central theme of the record, and part of what makes it the unique listening experience it is.

At seven tracks and just shy of fifty minutes, Calea is long enough to breathe and grow into its own, without ever feeling as though it's overstaying its welcome. Each song can stand alone, altering the finer points without changing the basic recipe. As one track ends, another begins. Not parts of the same whole, but existing in parallel with one another. That may seem overreaching, and maybe it is.

To say it's smart wouldn't really explain what you're hearing. Smart is knowing how to build the tower. Brilliant is knowing how to make it stand for an eternity. Ashaena are not just making an album in the 2016 sense; listen once, and discard. Celea will stand for an eternity. And we're better for having heard it.

Enjoy an early stream for the album, which will be officially released on July 18th via Loud Rage Music. Pre-order it here.