In may I got the debut album from Ignea , a Ukrainian oriental metal band with female vocals and with oriental influences !!  Album was released in february 2017 !
I just love bands who use this oriental touches in their music !! You must know I’m a big fan of “Myrath” & “Persona” so I was very anxious to listen to this one !

The band was founded in 2011 under the patronymic of Parallax and released an Ep “Sputnik” in 2013, the band changed its name at the end of 2015 to become Ignea.
In Latin, Ignea means inflamed, filled with ardor and passion. A definition that applies perfectly to the music of the group.
“The Sign of Faith” is the first full-length album by Ignea. Most of the tracks on the album are with that oriental touch , this combined with traditional middle eastern melodies, as well as female vocals. The album is pierced with the ideas of religion. “Helle Bogdanova” has a very good voice , she signs clean , high , classical but also takes the grunts for her part !!

The album starts with “Seytanu Akbar” a special song that’s also presented visually on you tube in surrealistic style with references to Salvador Dali !

The guitars are aggressive & the rhythms are heavy. The keybords supports all this perfectly. The perfect balance of melody and power.
The song “Alexandria” is based on a very-very old demo (2011 or so) when the band had still another lineup ! The song is about the ancient city of Alexandria, known for its beauty and large library. It is sung on behalf of a person who is having controversial feelings towards the city. He feels the power that can destroy the walls in a blink of an eye, but at the same time worships its beauty and wisdom of the people and numerous books in the library. The guitar solo of Dmitri Vinninchenko accompanied with the traditional bouzouki is simply stunning !!
The song “Petrichor” is the first single of the album and features Yossi Sassi (ex Orphaned Land) who performed bouzukitara and guitar solo lines.
Petrichor’s main theme is based on a Lebanese folklore song “Al Oula”.
“Theater of Denial” is an amazing symphonic ballad , it starts with piano and ticking of a clock , Helle ‘s voice is smooth and thanks to the oriental mood you feel like you’re on an amazing trip !
The song “Jahi” , a demoness of lasciviousness….While many people perceive darkness as something bad, this song presents the idea that it is just the opposite , something unknown. Listen to the words in the breakdown where it’s illustrated clearly.
“Halves Rupture” is a fast song with quite a “joyful” melody, it’s meaning is sad and is about a romantic heartbreak. The song has lot’s of grunts in it but still suits very well with the oriental mood ! This was the first track the band revealed from the album. The band said they were really scared that many of their fans wouldn’t perceive the song !
“Last Chosen By You” is an imaginary tale about a girl who is one of the wives to a man. She is tired of being kept at home and told what to be done.
She is so tired to live under the veil. Finally she kills her husband to become free.
“Alga” is a very special track for the band ! It’s composed in traditions of symphonic metal but recorded with a symphony orchestra of forty musicians and takes you into the world of a Tim Burton and his appointed composer Danny Elfman. Alga evokes the deportation of the Crimean Tatars ordered by Joseph Stalin in 1944.
The song “How I Hate the Night” is known as “Marvin’s Lullaby” – you know Marvin ? The Paranoid Android, from the movie “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy”
The line “Try to count electric sheep” is a reference to Philip K. Dick’s novel – Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep – which is the favorite book of Helle.
“Leviathan” a cover of the Norwegian electric trio “Ultra Sheriff” (album “Deception,oil and laser beams” 2012) , but man this is amazing !!!
No kidding , I simply love the musical composition here….it combines heavy grunts with smooth oriental keys. Amazing song and despite the fact that it’s a cover for me the best song here !!
“Sputnik” as last is a symphonic version of the song made by Xes Dreams band.

Ignea’s debut album is all together an amazing piece of music !! Knowing the fact that playing metal in Ukraine is not a sinecure…..the conditions are not always optimal to live fully of this passion , and this with the disinterest of the media and the public and tense political situations !!
The band uses the oriental elements like Myrath and Persona but are so much different than these two bands ! Ignea is heavier ,more gothic than symphonic.
The use of the oriental instruments are simply stunning ! Helle’s voice is amazing (ok I admit I’m not a big fan of grunts but here it all fits very well).
She puts great variation in her singing , just what this kind of music needs !!
I’m sure this album will be liked by all fans of gothic , oriental , altenative metal !! I for one love this and if they ever deside to release it on vinyl I simply must have it !!

Tracklist:

01. Seytanu Akbar (04:40)
02. Alexandria (03:57)
03. Petrichor (03:32)
04. Theatre of Denial (04:18)
05. Jahi (07:36)
06. Halves Rupture (04:04)
07. Last Chosen by You (02:57)
08. Alga (06:17)
09. How I Hate the Night (03:21)
10. Leviathan (04:53)
11. Sputnik (Xes Dreams Version) (02:52)