Review: Ignea – The Sign Of Faith
Written by Rainer Kerber
In the past, Ukraine was the breadbasket of the former USSR. Since 1991, the country has been an independent state, but the country gained unpleasant fame through domestic conflicts and troubles with Russia, namely the Crimean conflict. Despite all of this, Ukraine is also a place where a variety of excellent rock and metal bands grow. Ignea hails from the capital Kiev and was founded in 2011 under the name Parallax. Four years later they renamed to Ignea. Since then, several singles and one EP have been released. A close friendship connects them with the heroes of the Oriental Metal, Orphaned Land. It is not surprising that oriental influences can also be heard in the songs of Ignea. Last year I was able to interview Evgeny Zhytnyuk, the keyboardist of the band. In February of this year, the debut album of the Eastern Europeans was released, so let’s dive in.
The opener ‘Şeytanu Akbar‘ starts with oriental-inspired sounds before hard-banging riffs come in, accompanied by pounding drums. Then the enchanting voice of singer Helle Bogdanova starts but she repeatedly alternates between growls and clear vocals. In the background, discreet strings can be heard. A video for this song was produced and clearly shows examines the song’s stand against international terrorism.
Afterwards the Egyptian harbour city ‘Alexandria‘ is sung about. Strings are equally important here, besides the otherwise metallic instrumentation. Thanks to the sound colours of the guitars and Helles’ vocals, ‘Petrichor‘ makes you feel like you are in the halls of an Ottoman sultan, where a great feast with food and music is held. With ‘Theater Of Denial‘ you can hear the first ballad of the album.
In the video to ‘Alga‘ the band was supported by a large symphonic orchestra. Here the riffs just bang out of the boxes. For me, one of the highlights of the album. Shortly before the end resounds with ‘How I Hate The Night‘ another beautiful ballad.
While on the 2013 EP Sputnik there were not too many oriental sounds to listen to, the musicians at ‘The Sign Of Faith‘ have massively refilled. Ignea has managed to integrate this exoticism into modern heavy metal compositions. Here, the partial bombastic strings harmoniously harmonize with the powerful guitar and percussion play and the many oriental melodies. The vocal performance by Helle Bogdanova is outstanding. An authentic sounding album, which combines the Orient and the Occident stylishly, has come out. It is to be hoped that this will be achieved in real life soon. 8/10
Helle Bogdanova – Clean & Extreme Vocals, Lyrics
Evgeny Zhytnyuk – Keyboards, Extreme Vocals
Xander Kamyshin – Bass
Dmitriy Vinnichenko – Guitars
Ivan Kholmogorov – Drums
Out: February 16th 2017
Theatre Of Denial
Last Chosen By You
How I Hate The Night