September 15, 2020

Ignea is not a band I know, and a quick look at their website gives all of the expected detail on them but then they sum themselves up in one superbly succinct strapline stating that they are a ‘Ukrainian melodic metal band with symphonic, electronic and Middle-Eastern influences’. Sounds a touch bizarre but it is exactly what they are, and if you like your music to be a little different or your bands to have a strong sense of identity then you will find much in Ignea to admire and like.

The music is truly eclectic and switches styles with amazing fluidity and even though the styles are so contrasting they still merge to produce one, seamless whole. They can be brutal with huge crushing riffs and growled death vocals then, in a heartbeat, they move through electronica, folk and symphonic metal. It sounds like a disaster and probably would be with any other band but this team of musicians is exceptional and just so together that it is almost frightening. Now, those who know me know that I am not a fan of growled vocals but there are a few bands where it works and works so perfectly that the dark vocals make sense and are just as much a part of the music as the clean vocals I love so much.

Ignea is one such band where everything combines perfectly and all makes perfect sense. The band formed in 2013 and were originally called Parallax before settling on the Ignea name in 2015 and so have had several years to develop into the devastating act that they are today. The debut album, The Sign Of Faith, was released in 2017 with the band honing their heavy sound, pleasing mixture of clean and extreme vocals and the Middle Eastern influences that give the band such an exotic and sumptuous flavour. The Realms Of Fire And Death continue the good work and is a superior work to its predecessor and it amazingly played, produced and engineered.

The musicians all deserve huge praise for their work with the voice of Helle Bogdanova being simply clear, clean and beautiful with Evgeny Zhytnyuk (keyboards), Xander Kamyshim (bass), Dmitriy Vinnichenko (guitars) and Ivan Kholmogorov (drums) complementing each other perfectly. It is amazing how well the heavy and quite brutal moments work so well with the folksier elements and it is this contrasts that makes this work of art so special. In good style, it is a concept piece too being split into three parts telling tales of fire and death but you really need the lyrics (which were not available to us) to fully buy into the concept experience but this does not detract from the music which is mainly superior melodic metal that demands to be played at maximum volume so put your neighbours on red alert!

The Realms Of Fire & Death track list

  • Queen Dies (3:58)
  • Чорне Полум’я (5:24)
  • Out Of My Head (3:53)
  • Í Tokuni (Eivør Cover) (3:49)
  • Too Late To Be Born (3:18)
  • What For (3:42)
  • Gods Of Fire (3:02)
  •  Jinnslammer (4:39
  • Disenchantment (4:40)
  • Black Flame (bonus track) (5:25)