Born Of Fire - 'Dead Winter Sun' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     April 23, 2015    
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BOF make for a searing change of pace from the full-pelt, kick drums ahoy that Euro Power Metal can too often offer.

Releasing two albums in the early 2000s, I must admit that powering Progressive Metallers Born Of Fire (bonus points for the awesome band name) completely passed me by, although I wonder why when you take into account their excellent comeback album 'Dead Winter Sun'. Hailing from Phoenix, Arizona, there's no doubting that BOF are an American act, their surging sound harking back to prime-era Queensryche, especially through new vocalist Gordon Tittsworth (All Too Human, Dread The Forsaken, Images Of Eden), who could, these days, probably out Geoff Tate the ostracised ex-front-man of the Ryche.

Not everything hits the mark as it should, mid-paced numbers 'Spiritual Warfare' and the album opening title track never quite delivering on their initial promise and yet when things are accelerated up a gear BOF become a raging inferno. 'When Hope Dies' crackles and pops (no snap though), guitarists Bobby Chavez and Victor Morell challenging drummer Steve Dorssom and bassist Michael Wolff to a full-pelt time changing duel.

However this is a band of extremes, 'Echoes Of The Lost' slowing things right down, strings and piano infusing a heady atmosphere into a song that stops you in your tracks through crafted arrangements and another soaring vocal. The closing track 'Tears' is a glorious blend of classical guitar and tasteful keyboards, ending proceedings in an extremely classy fashion.

BOF make for a searing change of pace from the full-pelt, kick drums ahoy that Euro Power Metal can too often offer, '...Sun' evoking bands such as Fates Warning, Crimson Glory and Queensryche. That alone sets them out as a little different to the norm these days, as do bleak lyrics which investigate how our world came to be the shambles that it basically is; although a little hope is added along the way. A 2012 'Anthology' looks to be a required purchase to discover what early Born Of Fire sounded like (with a different singer, Jim Davis (Monument)). If it's half as good as 'Dead Winter Sun', it will be well worth toasting your marshmallows to.

Steven Reid

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