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Ana “The Art of Letting Go” EP Review by Curtis J. Dupree

ANA Members Band

After being formed a little over a year ago in Australia, Ana comes roaring onto the scene with their debut EP, entitled The Art of Letting Go. Ana is described as “female fronted symphonic metal,” per the press release, and that description is overall accurate. I do want to note upfront that Ana manages to riff better than many bands that wear that label, while still giving the appropriate sonic attention to the lovely vocals that are associated with the genre. 

The band is comprised of vocalist Anna Khristenko, who brings a powerful, well-trained voice to the mix; Josh Mak, who contributes both killer riffs and appealing solos; Tory Giamba, who lays down some choice bass lines; Cleveland Beckford Gonzalez, who adapts some of his previous metalcore experience to Ana’s sound, resulting in a killer drum performance; and Matt Williamson, whose keyboard work adds both lovely melodies and appropriate color to the proceedings. 

The immediate highlight of the band is, of course, Khristenko’s voice. She sings with a lot of power, but she never oversells her vocals. When the song calls for a more delicate, subtle approach, she provides it. When the song calls for a soaring performance, she gives it to the listener. But just because her voice is so strong, do not think that the other musicians are merely background noise. Mak’s riffing and soloing is excellent, Williamson’s keyboards are utilized well, and the rhythm section of Giamba and Gonzalez locks everything down and drives it forward. 

Production wise, the album sounds good. The instruments and vocals are clear, and the rhythm section gets a nice level of prominence. The guitar has a good bite and the vocals are upfront. The album does not sound as produced as much modern metal, but that’s not really a complaint on my part. I also want to note that there is a comic book that goes along with the album, but I myself have not seen it (yet).

The EP begins with “I’m Not the One.” This song features a good keyboard melody. The first verse is soft and then builds. Khristenko’s vocal prowess is on full display here. The chorus soars and features some great drum work. The riffs here are quite good and the solo is killer. I will say that while this is a great song, I would maybe have selected something a bit peppier for the opening track.

Scars” is next and once again we see that Mak’s riff work is a cut above many bands in this genre. There is a subtle use of symphonic elements here that works well. Khristenko shows that she knows when to sing delicately and when to belt it out. The chorus slows the pace down and really shows off her vocals.

The clear highlight of the release is the third track—“Ouroboros.” The track is the longest one here, and it makes the most of its runtime. The riff at the intro is great and we get a very memorable keyboard melody throughout the tune. The verse sports good bass work and vocal melodies. The songwriting on this song is quite dynamic and that only adds to the appeal. The riffs here are great, as are the keyboard melodies. The prechorus pumps you up and the chorus doesn’t let you down—it’s an epic refrain and very, very catchy. In fact, after spinning this release yesterday, I woke up this morning with this chorus stuck in my head! The solo here is also killer. 

Sirens” sports a lovely vocal melody, before a great riff kicks in after the first verse, which is blended well with symphonic elements for added color. The chorus here is good, although not the EP’s best. The solo is excellent, and of course Khristenko’s voice is in fine form.

The final track of the EP is “Moth.” This song begins with a lovely piano melody and beautiful vocal lines. The chorus here is quite catchy and will implant itself in your brain. After the first chorus a speedy riff kicks in, and we also get a nice keyboard melody overtop the guitar part. The rhythm section brings their A-game here, before the song finishes on a gentle note. 

It’s hard to evaluate an EP, because there aren’t as many songs to discuss as most full albums. However, what’s here is of such high quality that I cannot wait to hear more music from Ana. Everything is in place for them to become one of my favorites in the genre. Make sure you take the time to check out The Art of Letting Go, but don’t be surprised if some of the songs refuse to leave your head.

Curtis’ rating 8.5/10

New EP album The Art of Letting Go is out March 29, 2024. Pre-order / Pre-save at this location

ANA Album Covers

The Art of Letting Go track listing
01. I’m Not the One
02. Scars
03. Ouroboros
04. Sirens (Remastered)
05. Moth

Ana lineup
Anna Khristenko (Vocals), Josh Mak (Guitar), Tory Giamba (Bass), Cleveland Beckford Gonzalez (Drums), Matt Williamson (Keys)

Ana discography
The Art of Letting Go (EP) – 2024
Sirens (Single) – 2023

For more information about Ana and their “Ouroboros” music video, please visit them on FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube, and TikTok, and follow them on SpotifyApple Music, , Amazon Music, , or.

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