ANA are a female fronted symphonic metal band, formed January 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. The band consists of Anna Khristenko (Vocals), Josh Mak (Guitar), Tory Giamba (Bass), Cleveland Beckford Gonzalez (Drums), and Matt Williamson (Keys). Their musical style is an eclectic blend of various genres and influences, culminating together in an experience that is suspenseful, mysterious, soulful, and rocking. Their songs are personal. Their songs are ours.
Anna Khristenko was born in a small village near the Caucasus, and she comes from a classical background in opera. In college, she mastered elaborate singing techniques and spent many years performing throughout South East Asia. In the studio, she currently delivers her vocal with the precision of a beautiful assassin, often able to design perfect takes that include complicated runs and delicate embellishments. The irony is that the final product architects for the listener a gorgeous emotional landscape, happily united with Anna’s striking technical execution.
Josh Mak was the frontman and primary songwriter for the hard rock band Cynation, winning multiple awards, most notably the 2020 Best Music Video at the International Film Makers Festival of New York. Currently, he plays with Ormsby guitars, a Friedman BEOD pedal, a Bogner Uberschall head and cab, and just a splash of reverb and delay. ANA’s sweet heaviness is created not only by Josh’s guitar sounds, but his choice to have the bass and drums more forward than the rhythm guitars in the mix.
Cleveland Beckford Gonzalez was the founding member, drummer, and songwriter for the Panamanian Metalcore band, Watch Me Face It, and when he joined ANA, he immediately demonstrated his fundamental understanding of the importance of a groove, plus the machine-gun efficiency of militaristic snare runs and rapid-fire hummingbird sixteenths that would yield stylistic perfection and rhythmic, aesthetic coloring.
Tory Giamba is a highly experienced session bass player on the Aussie scene. He is a former member of Carmeria and has previously toured as the live bassist for Pseudo Echo. His contributions to ANA are crucial in terms of his big sound and his ability to fill the sonic space with a heartbeat that is bold and bombastic.
Matt Williamson is the youngest member of the band and an exceptionally gifted keyboardist who is well versed and proficient in many genres. He can read and write music, but most of what he does comes from listening to something and replicating it in real time. Bandmembers merely describe or sing melodies to him, and he proceeds to perform them by ear.
ANA have also broken new artistic ground by releasing their own official comic book that features all members of the band. It is a product of Cynation Comics, titled, ANA, featuring a facial closeup of the enticing Goddess ANA, and her four masked super-humans, who are members of the band, standing in miniature upon her outstretched palms. The storyline is universally appealing, as the ANA character is a spellbinding deity from an unknown place, sent to earth to free us of mind-numbing routines. The captivating settings stretch far and wide, starting in Tokyo, then shooting off to Egypt, Brazil, and an unexplored frozen corner of the world even climate change couldn’t make warmer. Frankly, the magazine is enchanting. It could even be suggested that the ANA experience is complete when one gets a hold of every mag in the series and reads it while listening to the heart-stopping music!
In October of 2023 ANA inked a worldwide deal with Eclipse Records to release their debut 5-track EP, The Art of Letting Go. The record was mixed by Chris Themelco of Melbourne based Monolith Studios and mastered by industry legend, Thomas “Plec” Johansson of the multi-Grammy, Platinum and Gold award winning studio, The PanicRoom. In all, ANA is a multi-sensory experience on both technical and emotive grounds, breaking hearts and breaking rules, so don’t worry about coloring outside the lines. The band’s got it covered. The band has already re-set the borders.
The Art of Letting Go is scheduled to be released by Eclipse Records on March 29, 2024.