First Look: Ignea


Hometown: Kyiv, Ukraine
Album: Dreams of Land Unseen, out April 28th via Napalm Records

RIYL: Travel. Escapism. Inspirational Women.

We use the term “escapism” as a sort of sneering insult to a wide range of media, like how dare the audience crave art that isn’t challenging and worthy of extended critical analysis? Hell, that snobbishness should be dead by now, especially when we were denied almost any travel for a period of time. Any art that makes us imagine someplace or something else should be lauded, well if it’s any good, of course. Ignea don’t have to worry about that, as their brand of folk-inspired melodic metal has been perfected over the course of now three full-lengths. Dreams of Land Unseen feels like a cross between mid-career Scar Symmetry, Epica, and even The Agonist. That’s to say it’s hyper-melodic, with just enough “stonk face” riffs to keep any metalhead happy.

In fact, that sense of joy was central, according to vocalist Helle Bohdanova:

“Traveling is one of the things that inspire me most, and it’s been really painful to sit at home during the pandemic. Listening to different folk elements in the demos, I was determined to have songs about famous travelers from different historical periods. But when I found out about Sofia Yablonska, I was so mind-blown that I knew: she should be the one and only subject of this album. When I was reading her travelogues, I picked up the best parts, phrases and stories, and I was basically mix- and matching them to the demos we already had. That was a captivating creative process I’ll never forget!”

“Even though this album was written before the full-scale war started in Ukraine, it has been and still is kind of an escapism for us in these dark times. We also haven’t been to most countries where Yablonska has been to, so these lands are truly unseen to us. Moreover, our listeners too won’t be able to visit these lands through the prism of Sofia and the time she lived in, but listening to this record can feel like hopping on a voyage, at least, in our imagination. With this album, we also wanted the world to find out about a brave and amazing Ukrainian woman who went against the system by traveling along to non-touristic places and making a breakthrough in travel photography. It’s a bold and metal move that has inspired us and, hopefully, many other people all around the globe.”

Photo courtesy of Ignea.


Stay Connected

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.

 Learn more