Today we will be talking about a group Called Ignea, who hail from Kieve, Ukraine. This is another of many groups that Jen located for me, because she knew I would love them; and yet again, she was not mistaken. Ignea plays what they call modern oriental metal, I would say they are more symphonic metal with oriental, industrial, and modern metal elements added into the mix. They were formed back in 2011, and had gone by the name Parallax until 2015. The band is fronted by Helle Bogdanova, whose clean vocals are as beautiful as her extreme vocals. She can sing, and has a slight Christina Scabbia sound; she can also growl like a demon on top of her dynamic clean style. The band is rounded out by Evgeny Zhytnyuk on keyboards and extreme vocals, Xander Kamyshin on bass, Dmitriy Vinnichenko handling guitar duties, and Ivan Kholmogorov on the drums. They released a full length album on February 16th, 2017, and it’s entitled The Sign of Faith.
Ignea has the distinction of being the first Ukrainian band to record a song using a full symphonic orchestra, and the song, “Alga”, is beautifully done. The intro orchestration is beautifully written and performed, and after it stops a fat bass guitar slide leads into a nice, distorted guitar riff. The transition from beauty to metallic chaos is phenomenal, and Helle’s beautiful vocals soar over the verses and chorus like a bird in flight; lending even more beauty to the song. The end of the song showcases a heavier guitar riff, and a really nice keyboard solo. “Halves Rupture” is another track that stood out to me. The intro has a middle eastern feel to it, and when the guitar comes in to double that section it makes for a really sweet sounding start to the song. The verse riff ups the ante as far as heavy, and the growls are well placed, and well performed. Once again, the chorus is made more stunning by the clean vocals. It’s really a testament to the skill of these musicians, mixing the beauty, the chaos, and the symphonic all into one cohesive product.
The Sign of Faith is an album that has beautiful melodies, incredible orchestration, and a great metal edge in the mix. While the oriental metal elements are definitely there, they are less prominent than I would have expected from a band in that genre. However, don’t take that as a negative comment on this release; it most definitely is not a negative at all. I used to listen to albums fronted by women, and immediately think that there was no way that the power of metal could ever be there. Over the past couple of years I have realized what a short-sighted view of music that was. There are so many groups out there with strong female vocalist that I’d be a fool to not take them into account, and so would anyone else. Metal isn’t a genre that supports gender inequality like it used to be; there were more male dominated acts out there when I was growing up, and the ones that weren’t just didn’t get the same attention. Now, there are bands like Ignea, Epica, Lacuna Coil, Kobra and the Lotus (review from them is coming soon), Semblant, Arch Enemy, and many, many more. So go check all of them out, and start with Ignea’s The Sign of Faith; it is a highly enjoyable release.
Keep it metal, my friends!! \m/