IGNESCENT Album Review: “Fight In Me”

“Fight In Me”
Album Review by Iron Mathew


Ignescent are a hard rock band from the USA founded by singer Jennifer Benson – the band releasing to date a couple of E.P.’s and one full length album, their debut ‘Fight In Me’ released in 2023.

The Chicago based rockers are more than just a hard rock band – there’s touches of heavy rock and metal, groove, and what’s commonly known these days as “modern metal”. The variation in the bands sound, leads me to place Ignescent alongside the likes of Letters From The Fire, Devilskin, Lola Black, Fire Red Empress and Anthems In Ashes, especially in regards to hardness of hitting and powerful lead female vocals! The band consists of Benson (vocals), Max Carrillo (guitar), Joel Seidlitz (bass) and Dusty Winterrowd (drums), the album featuring eleven songs in under forty minutes – ‘Monster You Made’ slamming listeners to the fucking floor with a level of ferocity you’d not normally associate with hard rock! But this is no ordinary hard rock band, Ignescent are a heavy hitting outfit emitting sparks of fire as they strike right outta the gate to shock and stun a worldwide audience! An audience whose jaws have just hit the floor with a resounding thud – the opening salvo a stunner right off the top shelf! And the vocal performance of lead singer Benson is simply incredible – what a powerful and immense range she has, morphing into a rock roar for the bludgeoning ‘Unholy’. And I realise many of you will be reading this and wondering why I’m using such heavy descriptors for a rock album – well just take a listen and feel the force for yourselves! ‘Unholy’ marches on with more punch than all the Rocky films combined, delivering knock-out blows to the senses of every single listener, fan and follower around the world.

An incredible opening one-two, becomes a one-two-three with the albums title song ‘Fight In Me’ taking the industrial metal path to the airways – or should that be the industrial rock path! Either way, the barrage of hard rock flowing outta ‘Fight In Me’ is nothing like the rock greats of the past – greats such as AC/DC, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and Whitesnake – Ignescent broadening rock’s horizons to new heights! Heights that are dizzying, yet exhilarating – ‘You’re Not Alone’ entering the album into balladry with a soulful vocal performance overlaying mellow and exquisite keyboards (or is that piano). Either way, the passion and reined energy of ‘You’re Not Alone’ is phenomenal, stretching its legs past the four minute mark – the only song out of the eleven on offer to do so. Bloody incredible! And a feeling of American alternative Gothic hard symphonic rockers Evanescence comes to the fore as ‘Under Attack’ launches a fierce bombastic barrage of rock with enough force to blow a great big fucking hole right through the centre of the Earth! And when Benson sings the line “I’m going under”, I can’t help but hear Amy Lee (Evanescence’s singer) singing the same line in the bands 2003 UK and USA top ten charting single ‘Going Under’ (from the album ‘Fallen’). The similarity is amazing, I may even go as far to say spooky! And whoa – what the hell was that? Growled vocals! A metalcore scream! A bit of both! Was it Benson? Gimme one second to re-listen… Hell yea it is – what an incredible range Jennifer Benson has! Remember the name readers, I’m sure we’re gonna hear much more from the Chicago songstress.

Right now in fact, ’cause there’s still six songs remaining! The first of which ‘Triple Threat’, is a feisty mid tempo rock anthem with an almighty punch – the phenomenal power level’s reined in so tightly ‘Triple Threat’ threatens to explode at any second! Which it does do with only ten seconds left to go, Ignescent allowing every listener a short (very short) period to head bang furiously! Yes, head bang! To a rock album! Moving in a darker, meaner, more moodier direction, ‘Shadows’ is a slow to mid tempo stroll, weaving a boundary breaking path through the genres of alternative, Gothic and hard rock to deliver a crushing yet melodic swagger featuring one of the widest ranging vocal performances by Benson. ‘Carries Me’ opens with the most mellow passage heard on the album so far – for just ten seconds! And then a deafening barrage of the bands intense and overwhelming brand of hard rock hits you like the proverbial tonne of bricks – there’s just no escaping it! But then, why would you want to when it’s this fucking good!

And with even more mellowness and a touch of serenity, the band tease once more – this time for twenty seconds, Ignescent stealing Thor’s hammer and hitting everything in sight. And that includes every single listener everywhere, the band hurting eardrums with the devastating ‘The Hurt’. Yet among all the aggression and ferocity on show, there’s a majestic elegance sewn into every song on offer – it’s like the band wants to inflict pain and punishment, leaving bodies covered in cuts and bruises, and then play nurse by applying band-aids, and providing twenty four support day in day out for as long as is needed for the body to completely heal! The band are on fire, especially Benson – her vocal range immensely dynamic and far reaching, ‘Woman On Fire’ maintaining the albums stunning intensity and phenomenally high infectious level. To say ‘Fight In Me’ (the album) has been one of the biggest surprises of the year is likely to also be one of the biggest understatements of the year – the Chicago four piece making a late charge for the Album Of The Year title. And it’s with heavy heart that the final song is here – although the replay button is one of the best buttons ever invented! I know I’m gonna be pressing it for a long time to come – are you? The final song ‘Not Today’, features singer Kevin Young from Christian rock band Disciple, and is a heavy hitter emanating levels of power and energy higher than any where else on the album. The chorus break is massively melodic and sing a long-able, every listener, fan, follower and concert goer joining in a sing a long that is both defiant and rabble rousing. What a great end to a great album.

Overall, a jaw dropping barrage of heavy hitting infectious hard rock featuring elements from many other genres such as industrial and heavy metal.


Monster You Made
Fight In Me
You’re Not Alone
Under Attack
Triple Threat
Carries Me
The Hurt
Woman On Fire
Not Today (feat. Kevin Young from Disciple)


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