Ignea – The Realms Of Fire And Death

Ignea – The Realms Of Fire And Death

The Realms Of Fire And Death
Self released
April 10th, 2020

I have been friends with the singer Helle Bogdanova on Facebook for several years. So, I was able to follow the development of their band Ignea over a longer period of time. From the first EP “Sputnik” to the debut album “The Sign Of Faith”. Shortly before it appeared, I was also able to interview the composer and keyboardist Evgeny Zhytnyuk. I was able to experience the band live in 2018 at headCRASH in Hamburg during the Female Metal Voices Tour. A little over three years have passed since the debut. A few weeks ago, the musicians from the Ukrainian capital Kiev released their second album “The Realms Of Fire And Death”. This somewhat bulky title hides a concept album with stories, metaphors and symbols and is accompanied by a book with short stories that contains the lyrics of each song.

The opening song “Queen Dies” was released as a single almost two years ago. Obviously, the guitars were re-recorded for the album and the entire song was remastered. Melody and instrumentation have an oriental touch. A trademark of the band for years. Singer Helle Bogdanova initially shows her contemplative side. Also typical are the harsh growls that one would not really trust the petite singer. “Чорне Полум’я” is written in the national language Ukrainian, a language very similar to Russian. The sound is more advanced, but also slightly progressive. Translated into English, the title means “Black Flame”. With “Out of My Head” the Ukrainians venture into the realms of Djent and Nu Metal. Accordingly, the sound seems hectic and rushed over long distances. “Í Tokuni” adds another splash of color. The original song is by Eivør Pálsdóttir, a female singer and composer from the Faroe Islands. This folklore song is carefully ported into a soulful metal ballad. A real highlight. After that, “Too Late to Be Born” really gets going again. Here Ignea take a trip towards Blackened Death Metal. This also works convincingly. Folklore has done well to the band. In “What For” you can hear Spanish guitars in flamenco style. After the excursion to folklore there are growls again in “Gods of Fire”. The guitars also groove. Melodic Death Metal, as I like to listen to it myself. Anyone who has not banged yet will do so at “Jinnslammer” at the latest. A real neck breaker. Here you can clearly hear the vocal diversity of Helle, no matter if angry growls or great clear vocals, she can do everything. And the synths in the background create a lot of epic. The regular last song “Disenchantment” closes the circle. As with the opener, oriental sounds can also be heard here. In the album version that I bought, there follows the English version of “Чорне Полум’я” under the name “Black Flame” as a bonus song.

Ignea mix the different metal genres almost playfully. Death, Power, Folk or Blackened. There is (almost) nothing that Ukrainians have not included in this album. Anyone who thinks this album is a patchwork is wrong. All new songs harmonize perfectly with each other. The concept is implemented in three album parts, which are musically self-contained. Similar feelings are processed in each part, and short stories that fit together are told. Three years ago I wondered if the debut album could still be topped. From today’s perspective, the answer is “YES”. With “The Realms Of Fire And Death” Ignea have released a worthy successor. In 2020 they sound even more varied than three years ago. And the band seems well-rehearsed thanks to the stable line-up. You can already look forward to the next album.

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Track list

  1. Queen Dies
  2. Чорне Полум’я (Chorne Polumia)
  3. Out of My Head
  4. Í Tokuni (Eivør Cover)
  5. Too Late to Be Born
  6. What For
  7. Gods of Fire
  8. Jinnslammer
  9. Disenchantment
  10. Black Flame (Bonus)


Helle Bogdanova – Clean & Extreme Vocals, Lyrics
Evgeny Zhytnyuk – Keyboards
Xander Kamyshin – Bass
Dmitriy Vinnichenko – Guitars
Ivan Kholmogorov – Drums.

MHF Magazine/Rainer Kerber