It’s been a year and a half since my last chat with Kyiv’s metal band Ignea, and with a new album released, it was high time to reconnect with the band. This time, we hear from the keyboardist, Yevhenii Zhytniuk.
The band’s latest album, Dreams of Lands Unseen, was released last April. This concept album narrates the story of Ukrainian photographer and documentarian Sofia Yablonska. Yevhenii claims that the band doesn’t intentionally set out to create concept albums; it just so happens that each album evolves into one. Initially, the album’s theme revolved around various travelers throughout history, but after the lead vocalist Hellen became fascinated with Yablonska’s story, it became the central concept of the entire album.
When Russia invaded, the album’s recordings were well underway, with only the drums left to record. However, recording the drums proved challenging as Russian forces approached Kyiv. Citywide curfews lasted for days, and transportation was halted. Eventually, the drums were recorded, and the band was ready to release their album through a record label for the first time.
At the time of the album’s release, Ignea couldn’t tour outside Ukraine simply because there was no process in place for men to leave the country. However, the processes were sorted out, and Ignea was set to open for Fear Factory across 43 shows, marking their first major tour in five years. Yevhenii notes that the handful of gigs played in Ukraine as practice for the European tour didn’t really help the band much, and Helle, for instance, lost her voice midway through the tour.
Concluding the interview, Yevhenii emphasizes the importance of supporting Ukraine, both militarily and financially. The musician agrees with other artists interviewed by me that if Ukraine falls, Europe is next.
Interview with vocalist Helle Bogdanova from 2022: https://anti-commercial.media/ignea-06-2022/
Ignea interview 31.01.2024
Producer: Janne Vuorela