THE SIGN OF FAITH
Formerly under the name of Parallax, the Ukrainian music group released their debut album “The Signs of Faith” in 2017 as IGNEA. They are considered as the first band to play oriental metal, but they don't limit to just one genre, they include elements such as industrial, symphonic, progressive, and modern music. The band started to grab attention after their video of “Alga” starting to blow up, being shared all over social media, Webzines, and metal community groups, winning fans over of the symphonic metal genre and reaching a milestone of 3.000.000 views in YouTube. What made this music video receive so many views is the band's use of a full symphonic orchestra, showing the process of how this song is being came to be, becoming the first band in the Ukraine to record with a full orchestra.
“Şeytanu Akbar” is the opening song, immediately gives us a heavy start and the singer kicks off her
vocal in chants, but surprises me with those harsh vocals she pulled off so well which compliments
her clean singing, and you can hear the oriental melodies well blended with the heavy metal sound.
1. Şeytanu Akbar
4. Theatre of Denial
6. Halves Rupture
7. Last Chosen by You
9. How I Hate the Night
10. Leviathan (Ultra Sheriff cover)
Despite the title of the song, the band’s intention is to carry the idea of peace. Continuing in the veins
of the first track is “Alexandria”, but here we start to hear more of the middle eastern influences,
maybe Egyptian to be exact since the name of track talks about an ancient city based of near the
Mediterranean coast. Helle shows off more of her easy transition between harsh and clean vocals,
and enjoyed the guitar solo with the traditional mix. The third song is a re-recorded track from their
“Sputnik EP”, “Petrichar” features guest musician, Yossi Sassi, once-then member of the pioneers of
oriental rock Orphaned Land. Yossi shows off his notable instrument, the bobouzukitara, the world's
only double-neck guitar that combines the sound of the East and West music, which maybe why he
was the perfect choice to be included in this song, as the main theme of this track is based in a
Lebanese folklore song “Al Oula”. This song has the perfect combination of heavily rooted eastern
music and progressive metal, plus Yossi’s guitar solo.
“Theatre of Denial” is the band's first ever metal ballad, with a ticking clock, it is a bit slower than the other tracks, and Helle drops the extreme vocals and let's her clean singing shine more in this song. The song contains distortion, riffs, strong drum beats in the lyrical theme of someone of Faith is betrayed by the words of false hopes, giving her a difficult decision to part ways from her beliefs. “Jahi” is the longest song on the album with the length of 7 minutes. The title is based on the Avestan language name of Zoroastrianism’s demoness “lasciviousness”. The track starts of progressive in the first half with a steady tempo and a viola solo in the background, once reaching the 3 minute mark, it becomes a symphonic instrumental with a guitar solo in the mix near the end. ''Halves Rupture” focuses more on the progressive elements, starts with a very catchy oriental melody, combined with the guitar distortion and heavy drums. Compared to the other tracks so far, Helle brings in more power in her harsh vocals and color in her clean.
“Last Chosen by You” is a short song about a woman who was last chosen by a husband of many wives, for his satisfactions. Tired of being trapped and under his control while hiding behind veil, she kills him to gain her freedom. The progressive sounds gives us the feel of this woman's aggression towards this man, and the gruttal voice gives us the representation of how much resentment she had towards for how much he treated her as a slave, very heavy song. “Alga” is the standout song of this album, the use of an symphonic orchestra at it’s entirety is what gained this band recognition and a viral music video. This track is drops the oriental elements, being replaced by symphonic and progressive tones. The intro is perfect as it builds up the tension of the tale of nomadic people as they prepare to fight for their land from invaders. Once the band starts playing, the drums come in at a perfect time in sync, the riffs blended will with the the orchestra, and the keyboard solo getting the spotlight out near the end. Next, “How I Hate the Night” is a non-metal song of this album, still using the symphonic orchestra, very simple and peaceful track. The vocals are very soothing, and the line “try to count electric sheep” is a reference from novel “Do Android Dreams of Electric Sheep?” by
Philip K. Dick.
Finally closing the album, is a a cover of “Leviathan” from electronic group Ultra Sheriff, giving it
their powerful progressive metal flavor with harsh vocals, ending the album very heavy, which would
leave us wanting more from the band.
This album is full of surprises, so many elements being infused into one song, it's no wonder that
Ignea gain popularity in the metal community, “The Sign of Faith” is very exciting and engaging to listeners. For fans that like Orphaned Land, Whispered, Myrath, or fans of oriental metal in general, give IGNEA a listen if you're looking for more to add to your playlist.
I rate “The Sign of Faith” 9/10.
For More Info Visit:
Ivan Kholmohorov - Drums
Dimitri Vinnechenko - Guitars
Alexandr Kamyshim - Bass
Evgeny Zhitnyuk - Keyboards
Helle Bogdanova - Vocals