Ignited – Steelbound
Release Date: 26/10/2019
Running Time: 39:21
Review by Victor Augusto
Do you know that old Uncle who, despite all the terrible jokes at Christmas, spends all year mumbling about everything? It doesn’t matter if everything is good, he will still complain about anything, just for the love of complaining. Perhaps this grumpiness is what represents some older Heavy Metal listeners (the young ones too, sometimes). It is obvious that you will have already heard some Heavy Metal fan saying that he doesn’t like a kind of music because it is too modern. The opposite happens to when he thinks the music is dated and repetitive. Let’s be honest! Do you really believe that a band can bring something new to the table after so many fruitful decades with so many styles being perpetuated for eternity? I guess, not even the best clairvoyant could answer that. Why am I saying all this? No Reason! 😊. They are just random thoughts to explain what I felt when listening to Ignited’s debut album “Steelbound” for the first time.
Could it have been nostalgia? Maybe. For sure, I had a mix of feelings that reminded me of many classic Heavy Metal bands, but with a touch of modernism and I don’t mean the low tuning that some Power Metal bands use as an excuse to promote that they are “reinventing” themselves. Being very non-comprehensive, my first impression of this album was like hearing a mix of Judas Priest and Accept, as an overall concept about their sonority. Now, as my comments, about this Brazilian quartet, become ever more confusing I felt a proper heaviness from Dalton Castro’s guitars, together with strong and present bass from Sama Benedet and, together, they create a good wall for Maurício Velasco to be free on the double kick drums. So far then, we have the most traditional lines possible, but with something new that I promise I will mention.
Apparently, their sonority is the typical one that we hear from the aforementioned bands that influenced Ignited. Ignited have done a great job and all instruments are well equalized, they are also very clear. So far, everything is inspired by the classic bands, right? Yes! Totally! What I feel from the “modern” side, is the sound of the drums, which are a bit digitized for me. However, nothing more than that, after all, Maurício has done important work for the overall heaviness. So, maybe, it is more related to the production than the compositions themselves.
Now let’s go to the vocals, which deserve a few more words. No! I am not saying that the vocals are more important than all other instruments, but I would like to highlight a few aspects. The high range notes, in the Rob Halford style, are done with mastery. Sometimes, I hear singers trying to do this, but often the result is not so good. There are also many moments with further clean voices in the style of our most divine entity in Metal, called Mr. Ronnie James Dio. It sounds perfect, doesn’t it? Well, it’s just a matter of taste. The quality of the members of Ignited is unquestionable, however, I found the repetitive high notes/screams a bit tiring and I ended up enjoying more the interpretations when there is more cadence. As I said before, it is just a matter of taste.
We are looking at an album full of attributes. Excellent recording, musicians and compositions. If you’re the grumpy uncle, who complains that classic big-name bands are dying out, then listen to Ignited. “Steelbound” is a powerful album, with complex elements, that easily sounds like other mainstream bands, mainly Judas Priest. If you don’t like innovation, then here is an album where you can hear something very influenced by the past, but also framed with a more youthful design. Personally, it gave me a good feeling, because it reminded me of the old Dark Avenger, which is, probably, one of the greatest names of Traditional Heavy Metal that we have ever had in Brazil. Obviously, this also includes the similarity of Mario Linhares voice in relation to Denis Lima, vocalist of Ignited.
Are there more highlights? Listening from first track ‘Ignition’ through to closing song ‘Rotting’ there are powerful guitars, good rhythm changes allied with amazing melodies and remarkable solos. The entire album exposes what I have spoken about so far. It is an excellent debut!
04. Living In The Dark
05. Call Me To Run
07. Ground Pounding
08. Shining Void
09. Roaring Gears
Denis Lima – Vocals
Dalton Castro – Guitars
Sama Benedet – Bass
Mauricio Velasco – Drums
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