BORN OF FIRE - DEAD WINTER SUN (Pure Steel Records)
My first contact with Phoenix based Power Metal band Born Of Fire came with the release of the Iron Maiden compilation called “Maiden America”, a double CD featuring nothing but great US troops of steel acts like Sadus, Omen, Pharaoh, Twisted Tower Dire among others. Born Of Fire participated in this Twilight Records (1999) release with the song ‘Remember Tomorrow’, the second CD was filled with original tracks… in the case of BOF, they took my breath away with ‘Fire And Brimstone’. Striking characteristics for the band were the technical musical skills, offered by the grace of pure US Metal ! After hearing these two songs, I amused myself endlessly… a first official album was inevitable, “Transformation” saw daylight in 2000. This self financed 8 song loaded cut delivered solid Power Metal, strong and very technical as can be. They had it all, great vocals and sophisticated song structures… one year later on, they were back with the EP entitled “Born Of Fire”, filled with three new songs. Both full album and the EP were so damn good, I was expecting a new full album shortly afterwards but it turned out completely different. Instead of creating a new album, Born Of Fire took a hiatus for 10 long years.
They were reformed in 2012 and along with their comeback, No Remorse Records unleashed the “Anthology” CD (incl. the EP “Born Of Fire”/self titled 4 song demo plus the complete “Transformation” album!) which was a gift from heaven for all those into outstanding US Power Metal. It was good to know that the band was back with a vengeance and I had a good feeling that it would not be long before they would show up with a new album. My sense of satisfaction exceeds all boundaries, the official release date for Born Of Fire’s brand new album “Dead Winter Sun” (by Pure Steel Records) is scheduled for November 14th. 2014. I also ask your attention for the limited vinyl edition that’ll be out early 2015 !
Besides the original members Steve Dorssom (drums), Bobby Chavez (guitar) and Victor Morrell (guitar/keyboards), the band has some new blood within the ranks… may I welcome to a world class, masterful singer named Gordon Tittsworth (Images Of Eden, All Too Human and Dread The Forsaken) and bassist Michael Wolff (ex-Sloth Frenzy). Pending the official release, I’ve had the privilege to check out all of the songs in advantage… “Dead Winter Sun” will be one of the greatest US Power Metal albums of 2014, that’s what I think for sure !
Right from BOF’s early days of existence, the greatest asset musically seen is their versatility which is also present on the new album “Dead Winter Sun”. The title track opens the album on a very dark and calm manner before everything explodes. New frontman Gordon Tittsworth profiling itself immediately to a very renowned musician, the transition from deep to crystal clear vocals runs flawlessly. He is surely the most valuable acquisition with the eye focussed on the band’s future existence. The heavy guitar riffage and melodic moves on this first song are priceless… what a great start ! ‘When Hope Dies’ is another highlight due to the fast and technical bass, drum and guitar rhythms, the combination of clear and soaring vocals to work out contagiously. Fact is that Born Of Fire’s sound is very similar to US Progressive Power Metal heroes, Fates Warning! The vocal delivery does remind me a lot of Ray Alder and that’s perfect to me because he’s one of my all time favourite singers. On whether I think BOF as well as FW, I’d like to reply with much devotion, hell yeah.
And the comparison with Fates Warning comes even more into its own during heavenly beautiful, groundbreaking track entitled ‘Last Goodbye’ and next, more technical power loaded progmetal highlights ‘Cast The Last Stone’ and ‘Spiritual Warfare’. Each instrument is played with great sensitivity and fortitude which gives me a pleasant feeling while listening to all of the songs. With an emphasis on high musical skill, Born Of Fire knows how to take me completely in its grip, they put a spell on me for real ! ‘Hollow Soul’ has a quite modern/refreshing feel, ‘Echoes Of The Lost’ sounds more subdued and touch me deeply. Than the band is back in full force with the track ‘In A Cold World’ where pure US Power Metal reigns supreme. Closing the album they do in all simplicity with a song called ‘Tears’, a calm piece, yet brought with a high value on professionalism.
Born Of Fire takes you from one surprise to the next and overwhelm me with this brand new, very professional musical performance. No doubt about it, “Dead Winter Sun” is particularly suitable for fans who desire the technical nature of US Power/Progressive Metal music. I would once again emphasize that mainly, Ray Alder and the mighty Fates Warning fame are in close proximity which I consider as a great honour myself. Born Of Fire Official Homepage / BOF Facebook A highly recommended masterpiece !
My Points: 96 / 100
95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !
Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan
Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it
Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing
Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate
Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard50- : Rubbish