Saturday, May 25, 2024
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Label: Century Media Records

Date: March 25th, 2022

There are two things in music I will never be at peace with. Black Sabbath without Ozzy and Ignite without Zoli. The third would be if, god forbid, James leaves Metallica. That’s how important Ignite is for me. Zoli, as a unique vocalist he is, was the factor that brought that “one point extra” to the already awesome musical backdrop. As a kid, his voice was a big bonus for me. Growing up, it stuck with me, as it probably did for the majority of Ignite fans worldwide. “Scarred for Life” was a decent record, but it was only with the “Family” album that Ignite started to exist for me. His leaving literally meant the death of the band for me.

While I’m on the subject, if somebody would’ve told me back then, when I was a fifteen year old scrawny kid, that I will be listening to the new Ignite record three weeks before it is released and even have a chance to review it, I wouldn’t have believed. Not in a million years. Let alone that I will be writing about an album that is not yelled by the enraged Hun.

And now I have a confession to make. I really like the self-titled comeback. Mr. Eli Santana is no Zoli Téglás, nor is he trying (it would be in vain anyway), but the man delivers! And then some! He is not a novice, so there were “lessons” he learned along the way. And he aces “Ignite” from the first to last. The color of his voice keeps to the melodic tradition of the band’s singers, but it is his performance that wins this first “battle” for him in Ignite. Aggressive and loud when necessary (read: most of the time), yet clear and melancholic when his lines demand it.

On top of it, Ignite remains very much a socially conscious band, which basically means that the lyrics scream in the ears of the entitled. These are the silenced voices of the oppressed, wronged, poor… The songs of liberty, justice, friendship amid hardship… Really, everything a punk band needs to look out for. Even if Ignite’s status is far from the depths of underground, they keep to their activism, as much as possible. Keeping to what was sung about in “Who Sold out Now?” a couple of decades ago.

Musically speaking, not much has changed. Those who were following the band throughout the years are well aware of where Ignite stands. A couple of cosmetic improvements to what happened on “A War against you”, but that’s about it. Californian hardcore / punk as we all know and love. Invented ages ago, brought into the mainstream by The Offspring, yet kept active and down-to-Earth exactly by bands like Ignite. Overly fast, melodic to the bone and highly explosive.

Ignite, being among the champions of the genre, are doing another great job with the self-titled record. Short and extremely catchy songs, both music and lyric-wise, choruses you need to sing along with, and a sonic background that will make you jump up and down across your rooms. At least until the world clears itself of plague and war long enough for the boys to head out on the road. And then it will be hell to pay in the mosh.

Meanwhile, we have another half an hour of full blown Ignite pounding to witness. Three decades’ celebration is right around the corner, so maybe it is high time to finally visit Serbia.


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