Here at Rock On Purpose, we love finding bands with a story to tell, a heart for people and killer tunes. It’s a bonus if they include guitar solos that are straight fire.
Ignescent is a six member hard rock band from the windy city of Chicago, Illinois, formed in 2008 by lead vocalist Jennifer Benson. The band has shared the stage with acts like Lacey Sturm, Stryper, Memphis May Fire, The Devil Wears Prada and more.
On October 27, 2018, the female-fronted band will support Seventh Day Slumber for an outreach event to help heroine addicts, Taking Off the Masks. No doubt the band will feature songs from their most recent EP, Fearless, which was released on June 1.
We took the EP for a spin and got to know Jennifer Benson and the heart behind the ministry of Ignescent.
In order to set the stage for these songs, it is necessary to understand Jennifer Benson’s personal story. “About a year and a half ago,” she begins in a tell all video, “I went through a custody battle and thought I was about to lose my daughter.” After a difficult season of trial, God allowed her to keep her daughter.
The mission of Ignescent is to “bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world through a vehicle of music.” These songs were birthed out of the recent challenges and framed by that mission.
Fearless opens with a sound reminiscent of the beginning of a dark superhero film before launching into “Kickstart My Heart,” a driving and steady rocker with a strong backbone provided by drummer Chris Calix. The theme throughout these tracks is desperation and needing to rely on God to revive and strengthen us.
The appropriate balance in the instrumental mix yields to prominently featured vocals from Benson, whose voice is powerful and on point as she demonstrates her ability to hit notes from the top to bottom of the scale. Deven Elion throws down a slick solo, proving that he has the chops to handle technical complexity on the lead guitar.
The title track, “Fearless,” begins softly with rhythm guitarist Joey Sepulveda and bassist Cristian Agular setting the tone for a worshipful power ballad: “After that day, there was no more fear / just peace. / Sweet peace.”
Closing out the 3-song EP is one for those who prefer metal. “Overcome” is an anthem declaring victory over fear and trials of the heart. This is a fast-paced song that brings an element of screaming, enough to provide a tension that is broken by Benson’s familiar vocals in the chorus with the lyrics “Save us from the damage we have done / For with your love we will overcome.”
Fearless is a good sampling of the heart and potential of this up-and-coming band, but will leave listeners wanting more. To get a feel for the full body of work that Ignescent has in their catalogue, check out their 2012 single “Calling Out to You.”
Jennifer Benson, lead vocals
Deven Elion, lead guitar
Joey Sepulveda, rhythm guitar
Cristian Agular, bass
Chris Calix, drums