Ignea & Ersedu – Bestia (Split EP)
Release Date: 21/10/21
Running Time: 38:33
Review by Simon Black
I had come across Ukraine’s Ignea with their “The Realms of Fire and Death” album last year – an album that melded Power and Symphonic, with a Middle Eastern vibe at their heart, and I was quite blown away at their rather unique sound. This piece sees them sharing the release with their old friends Ersedu – a way more Death and Symphonic orientated act, who haven’t so made the same level of impact globally yet – something this record is clearly designed to redress. Although to be fair, Ersedu are something of an enigma, with a minimal internet presence, and no clue on any of their web pages as to who is in their line up.
To be honest, it’s more like an album than an EP, as it’s a concept piece exploring the mythological bestiary of their home nation. And, despite there only being six tracks on there, the run time is the best part of forty minutes. Interestingly, although the two bands have each contributed tracks individually, the recording mix, and cross-fertilisation between the two acts means it’s sometimes not clear who contributed which tracks to a casual listener. Both utilise very powerful female frontwomen who can deliver roaring guttural shred and clean brilliance in equal measure, and the more I listen, the more I realise that this is a country with a very unique take on Extreme music, that I need to dig into more deeply. Ignea take the first two tracks with Melodic brutality, Ersedu the next three showing a more subtle and Symphonic, although no less brutal edge. The epic closer ‘The Symphony of Bestia’ however is a joint affair, which really rams home by point about cross-fertilisation, and is very much on its own as an instrumental piece, far more classical in nature, and really not in the slightest bit Metal at all.
I love the way that the more established act has opened proceedings, but then stepped back to show the world what their contemporaries and friends can do – that’s not a behaviour you see often in the brutally competitive music industry, and for that alone this release deserves credit. But the fact is it’s a fabulous record in its own right. This was a fascinating project, and it’s at moments like this when my frustration with this reviewing lark, and the relentless pile of material I have to cover each month, peaks.
Releases like this have taken a huge amount of thought and I feel like I am barely doing justice to it. Three listens in, and I know that I’m barely scratching the surface of one of the most fascinating pieces of work to cross my desk all year. No, fascinating is not strong enough a word ‘fantastic’ is better…
02. Magura’s Last Kiss
04. Black Garden
05. The Eaters of the Sun
Helle Bogdanova – Vocals
Dmitry Vinnichenko – Guitars
Xander Kamyshin – Bass
Ivan Kholmohorov – Drums
Evgeny Zhytnyuk – Keyboards
Good question. Good luck finding that out!
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