Ignitor - Road of Bones
Cruz Del Sur Music
Traditional 80s Heavy Metal
11 songs (52'46")
Release year: 2007
Ignitor, Cruz Del Sur Music
Reviewed by Alex

It is rare that I pop a CD in, and I am greeted with solid Russian language, curse words and all. Yet this is how Texas Ignitor are opening their newest Road of Bones effort, with Death on the Road intro, sampled out of some Russian movie. Two convicts must be laboring hard, trying to catch their breath. The officer/guard suggests “the fucking bitch starts moving”. Responding to “look, he is not feeling well”, the guard fires a shot “making the bastard feel better now”. Then, the metal kicks in …

It is good to know that some in America in the 21st century are still remembering the roots of metal. Ignitor goes way back, immersing themselves deep into the early 80s. Road of Bones is retro, unashamed of its influences and deeply steeped in sentimental clichés, but oozing steel in buckets, full of energy and, most importantly, showing no datedness or fake posing.

Assuming you have not started listening to metal with the modern wave, there is no doubt that you have heard these riffs before, the opening of Hymn of Erin and “born of fire” chorus of Phoenix among some of the most obvious. Warbling gallop verses of Wings of the Blackheart and Castle in the Clouds scream Iron Maiden and melodic scaly leads of the title track and Wings of the Blackheart remind of Angel Witch. No wonder Ignitor is on Cruz del Sur, the label which made it their mission to not let the metal history get washed up in the river of time.

Victims of those aforementioned clichés, the band, however, endears, with enthusiasm flowing overboard, even though it borders on tackiness sometimes. Knowing how to handle their instruments certainly helps, tempo changes and dual harmonizing executed beautifully. Coming up with well-structured songs - spaced out in terms of when to throw a pace picker-upper (Broken Glass), stretch out the power (Wings of the Blackheart) or turn on a little nasty factor (God of Vengeance) – keeps the attention steady. And, of course, there are required anthem numbers, like March to the Guillotine, when you absolutely have to join vocalist Erika Swinnich in the headbanging and appropriate “March! March!” screams.

More on Erika. Ignitor would be half less exciting if she was absent from the fore. Pint-sized lady, she is the next coming of Doro Pesch, and thus my ultimate comparison with Warlock is complete. Erika pierces with screams, she is Halfordian high-pitch a la Screaming for Vengeance on Scarlet Enigma, soars, and curdles blood before it exits the veins. You can never think this is a lady singing, and even if you do, I personally would not want her replaced with a male vocalist. (It is hard to believe she was in atmospheric Autumn Tears, but also the word is she is currently out of Ignitor). Preceded by a great guitar lick, she is a dominatrix on the epic God of Vengeance, and the tribute to Warlock is absolute with the German lyrics Reinheitsgebot.

Closing with the Russian theme, just like I started, there was a music/entertainment TV show on old Soviet TV, called “For those over 30”. Certainly, back in the Soviet days that show played not a sniff of metal, but if they did, Ignitor would have had their spot permanently reserved. Road of Bones is for those old enough to reminisce, and young ones interested in how metal got started. A couple of more hooks in the songs, a little more catchiness that you join in singing uncontrollably and we have a golden classic throwback.

Killing Songs :
Road of Bones, Wings of the Blackheart, God of Vengeance, Reinheitsgebot
Alex quoted 81 / 100
Other albums by Ignitor that we have reviewed:
Ignitor - Take to the Sky reviewed by Ben and quoted 75 / 100
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