WHAT THE PRESS IS SAYING:
“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. A highly recommended masterpiece !”
– Stefan Sileghem (Metal To Infinity)
” However long it took Born of Fire to get here, none of that matters, because Dead Winter Sun is one of the best metal albums you’ll hear all year …”
– Derric Miller (Hard Rock Haven)
“DEAD WINTER SUN is a very good (official) sophomore (in addition to two demos and a Best Of (!!!!)). Recommended in any case for any die-hard metalheads who seeks salvation in the music of the bands mentioned above. Here is a hopeful successor at the start. Rock On !!!!”
– Pat St. James
“US Heavy Metal band with melodies and heart breaking notes , first track reminds me Lethal, a bit of Giuffria, Queensryche, and a tiny bit of late Guns n roses albums, Iced Earth, Fates Warning… . A bit of Sadness in the atmosphere which is really close to the dark cold cover! The synth parts helps you getting into a story into your mind like watching a movie. Brilliant album!!!”
– The Metal Mag
NEW REVIEWS- “DEAD WINTER SUN”:
10/31/2014- STEFAN SILEGHAM FROM “METAL TO INFINITY”:
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. A highly recommended masterpiece !
My Points: 96 / 100
11/18/2014- SEB DI GATTO FROM “THE METAL GODS ROCK SHOW”:
(10/10)- Born of Fire were formed back in 1995 and have been given a new lease of life through Pure Steel Records. The band has three original members Bobby Chavez / Victor Morrell Guitars and drummer Steve Dorssom with a new addition of Michael Wolff on Bass and a new vocalist in the stunningly talented Gordan Tittsworth who has the vocal range and style of Geoff Tate from early Queensryche.
Born of Fire deliver ten tracks of powerful progressive metal on “Dead Winter Sun” . The album opens with the title song which slowly builds into a majestic , thrilling ride of powerladen riff’s and changes in direction as the song slows down with orchestrations over laden with some ripping solos this is a terrific opener. There are so many must listen to tracks on this opus!
The band speed it up next with “When Hope Dies” the sound quality is as clear as a Swiss mountain lake as the drums thunder, cymbals make ripples, and the guitars create a wave of metal majesty. “Last Goodbye” is a smooth ballad that washes over you mortal soul, with some nice drum work and a superb guitar solo as the song reaches its end, it’s searing, and rocks your world.
A classic progtastic six and a half minutes are delivered with “Cast The Last Stone” it has a slight middle eastern vibe , a Metal saga with delirious riff’s and outstanding vocals from Tittsworth. “Speed of Dark” is a dramatic instrumental it leads into “Spiritual Warfare” shredding, battering, and in your minds eye you can see the crowds punching the air and singing “Spiritual Warfare” out fucking standing! “Hollow Soul” has a supernatural feel to it, it wraps itself around you with its haunting and spectral forces as halfway though a manic instrumental, breaking out this is a strange track, but it really, fits in and for me is the best track on here, which is a hard choice believe me!
“Echoes of The Lost” has a passionate and operatic vibe which finishes with a wistful piano to then lead into a shredding and heavy “Into The Cold”. Final song is an acoustic number called “Tears” quite simply a chilled out piece to leave you feeling warm and wanting to let the needle touch the groove again and play the whole album time after time!
If you love Queensryche, Iced Earth , Savatage in fact any form of Metal you just have to grab a hold of this album, Born of Fire deserve to be noticed and adored!
10/31/2014- DERRIC MILLER FROM “HARD ROCK HAVEN”:
Just in time for the cheerful holidays comes the new release Dead Winter Sun from the American metal band Born of Fire. Although they’ve been around since 1998, the band’s releases have been intermittent and far between. In fact, Dead Winter Sun is only their second full album release. However long it took Born of Fire to get here, none of that matters, because Dead Winter Sun is one of the best metal albums you’ll hear all year …
Although the nexus of the band has been together from the start, they have now brought the multi-faceted singer Gordon Tittsworth into the fold. You may remember him from Images of Eden, Dread the Forsaken, All Too Human, and some side projects. What he brings to the band is a voice that can handle both the intricate and brutal, soaring vocals to meet the band’s galloping compositions and also a certain majesty when they slow things down on songs like “Tears.” They absolutely needed a talent like him in the band to make their compositions come to life, and it sure as hell worked.
The brooding, somewhat doomy title track “Dead Winter Sun” greets you darkly when you hit “play.” With subtle guitar playing, slowly building to crescendo as Tittsworth’s vocals go from calming to seething as the song breaks into full electric mode, there’s just a lot to digest musically, vocally and especially lyrically. If you don’t get chills when Tittsworth sings “How can we live tomorrow when we’re dead inside today?” then try harder. The ebbs and flows of the song, the breakdowns, the foreshadowing from slow to manic, the expert guitar solos and fevered drumming … yeah, this is a great song.
Obviously, if there’s a dead sun, it’ll lead to the conclusion of “When Hope Dies,” the next track. This one is less complex than the opener; although they’ll remind you of Fates Warning at times, they don’t need to be complicated to be effective. With any great band in this genre, lyrics take on larger role. Think Queensryche—yes, just listening to them is riveting, but if you know the story behind the songs, it enhances everything. In other words, just pay attention to the lyrics when Born of Fire is playing, or you’ll miss lines like “The media has raped me of my sanity, invading another once innocent mind.”
“Last Goodbye” is a more atmospheric, mid-tempo composition. The song just breathes, allowing you to sink yourself into the somber mood and powerful vocals. This is actually an uplifting song, one of those “seize the day” ideas, although it feels darker because of the tempo and the overall dirge-like heaviness. And if you try to sing along with Tittsworth on the line “And if I would have known” during the chorus, you’d best warm your vocal chords up for an hour first; it’s not just high … it’s full of emotion and energy.
“Spiritual Warfare” is one of the smartest and heaviest songs on Dead Winter Sun. Although their slower songs full of tempo changes are excellent, they bring a rage on their most straightforward Metal tracks that are just a riot to bang your head to. “Spiritual Warfare” is all of the above, somehow. Not to get too theological, when you hear the angry question “Why do you fight for me? Why would you die for me?” you can tether that to the many wars being fought over the past decade in the deserts of the Middle East … or you could be asking your version of Jesus why did he die for us, and are we really even worth saving? (That’s just saying the poetry of the lyrics allows for multiple interpretations. It doesn’t matter if you are right; it just matters that you contemplate while listening.)
There is simply no song worth skipping on Dead Winter Sun. “Hollow Soul,” “Echoes of the Lost” and “In a Cold World” all have their varied strengths, especially the latter, which plays on the album’s overall theme and is somehow contained cacophony.
It all culminates on the song “Tears.” It’s not just rare—this almost never, ever happens. Born of Fire saved the best for last. “Tears” is an acoustic, sorrowful song with the most haunting chorus on the release. Again, if you follow the essence of their music, it’s always darkest before the dawn. Yes, the album takes you down bleak roads at the beginning, while always offering salvation, glimmers of hope and calls to enjoy your time here because in the end … we all end. “Do you remember when the tears turned to laughter once and for all?” Tittsworth asks. There’s your answer …
Dead Winter Sun is one of those albums that might experience a slow burn before metal fans start realizing in the glut of releases out there, this one is shining as one of the brightest of them all. When you bring sheer musicality, vocal prowess and philosophical lyrics all into one place … that place is Dead Winter Sun.
10/31/2014- LACY MUCKLOW FROM “LADY OBSCURE ONLINE ZINE”:
Though formed in the late 90’s, the Arizona-based metal band Born of Fire is blazing forward with their third full-length album entitled Dead Winter Sun. Members Victor Morell (guitar, keyboards), Bobby Chavez (guitar), Michael Wolff (bass), and Steve Dorssom (drums, percussion) forge this album along with new vocalist Gordon Tittsworth (Images of Eden, All Too Human, The Anabasis) on board. Having gained past notoriety for their covers of Dio and Iron Maiden, their style of power metal with an old school flair gives them an appeal to a wide audience. Their new album offers 10 tracks that paint a bleak but realistic picture of what the world can be like when left unchecked, while still holding onto hope.
The first track is the titular song, Dead Winter Sun (listen in the video linked below), which starts off with an ominous guitar introduction, with the line “free us from the dead of winter where the darkness consumes us…hear our call” is deeply spoken overhead. The song carries an oft-visited theme throughout the album about hopeless times and the struggle to fine hope on the other side of the difficulties, and this one in particular makes me think of the White Witch’s eternal winter in Narnia that seemed to have no end but there was eventual hope and reclaiming of the land from the evil wintry hold on the land. As the guitar and vocals with keyboards undergirding the beginning verses, the tone is set for the song. The rest of the band does not enter until just before the chorus, with a strong 4/4 beat and a catchy chorus and bridge. However, the tune does not lose its foreboding sense as the guitar interlude scales the song back again with a continuing portentous riff leading into the second half of the song that reprises the theme from the beginning and cycles back to the catchy and energetic chorus that leads to an abrupt and unfanciful finale.
When Hope Dies is a faster-paced song with a recurring theme of fading hope and wondering what there is left to hold onto and believe for the hope of the future. It begins hard-hitting from the get-go, and even with its serious theme, it is not as ominous in its sound as the previous track. This song is more aggressive in its approach, with melodic vocals and guitar solos, solid basswork holding down the foundation, and drums that maintain the quick pace of the song.
The third track, Last Goodbye, is a song that many would be able to relate to, remembering those moments of bidding that final farewell to a loved one, but with a hope of seeing them again in the afterlife. This song has some fine arpeggiated guitar work and a variety of styles, syncopated rhythms, and time signature changes that alternate between ballad-like moments that fit with the sentimental aspects of the song as well as heavier parts that keep the song moving and energetic. This song again starts off only with guitar and vocals, with a light bass entry before the definitive drum entry makes its arrival to kick the song into higher gear for a good while. It’s hard to classify this song as a straight rock ballad, since most of the song is solidly heavy, and rather has appropriate moments of restrained instrumentation that fits the message of the song.
Cast the Last Stone begins with an ominous thunderstorm in the background with a singular guitar arpeggiating a melancholic riff in the background while the vocals enter with a passionately delivered introductory verse before the full impact of the whole band enters to kick the song off into the second verse. This melodic pattern continues throughout much of the first half, except for the lengthy channel that contains a different melody and showcases the range of Tittsworth’s vocals, especially into the low range that carries a richness different from his upper octaves. About halfway through, the song resets with a reprise of the opening line, eventually leading to a blistering and extensive guitar solo before winding the song down with a variation of the chorus, leading to a fading out with recurring words from previous lyrics and the song title itself.
Speed of Dark is the only instrumental on the album, and is very orchestral in its approach, with percussion and strings. It sounds very much like a soundtrack from a suspense movie, and leads directly into the sixth track, Spiritual Warfare. This song begins with a strong guitar and rhythm presence with a solid beat as the nearly minute-long instrumental introduces the song. This song is driving but has a waltzing lilt to the beat underneath. The initial verses and chorus stay fairly true to this pattern but there is a shift once the bridge arrives with both spoken and sung lyrics, which lead into an interlude with a call-and-answer type response with high and low vocals accompanied by syncopated rhythms among all instruments. The song returns to some of the initial elements from the beginning of the song before ending the song and fading out with its repeating title. This song employs plenty of shifts in rhythm, approach, and technique that keep it interesting rather than a potential of being monotonous and redundant with too much reprisal of familiar themes.
Next, however, Hollow Soul begins differently from its predecessors, with a strong bass introduction, supported by the drums and lightly with guitar as a soundbyte is heard in the background from a man talking on about vitals and someone’s medical condition who could be close to death. The song, which is about filling one’s soul from a hollow existence, plays at a slower pace, and even with its melancholic feel, it has a strong 4/4 beat that is very bass-driven with punctuating guitars. There are also prominent keyboards as well as synth and guitar effects, especially at the opening and ending of the song, that give the song an intriguing ambience.
Starting with acoustic guitar and violin, Echoes of the Lost is joined by vocals and lower strings with a few percussion accents (chimes, rolling cymbals) and piano that continue until the rest of the band joins at the first chorus. This song is in a waltzy 3/4 time signature keep the song strolling along at a comfortable pace as the song ebbs and flows between heavier and lighter segments with the various instrumentations between the full band and more classical ensemble. The end of the song trails out with solo piano and vocals, and again evokes a sense of sadness.
In a Cold World, however, begins with a more aggressive tone with a crunchy guitar entry, which is soon joined by a soundbyte of Hitler speaking, setting the tone of the theme of the song. The bass and drums soon join the guitars, and establish a driving tempo. Though the song is not particularly fast like a thrash metal song, the beat and tone of the music definitely get one into the groove. The bridge is definitely interesting with the vocal interval jumping and pickup in guitar and drum intricacies that push the tempo. Later in the song, the tempo tends to slow with repeating guitar riffs and off-beat china cymbals for yet another style. This ninth track also includes more vocal growls than any other song, giving some variety as well as emphasis with certain lyrics. Then at the very end, it drops to an acoustic guitar only that plays the song out.
Tears, the last song on the album, starts off with a melancholy but beautiful acoustic guitar introduction. Vocals enter soon after for the first verse, and remain so with more layered guitar parts with occasional appearances by piano and strings to supplement the core of the song. During the choruses, the vocals are also layered for a fuller approach, but this song adds no more instrumentation for its short duration. However, even with the lack of the rhythm section, it presents quite poignantly and strongly on the merits of its melody and delivery giving its message of perseverance and hope.
Dead Winter Sun is fairly straightforward metal in its approach, with a likely wide appeal for many fans within the genre. However, Born of Fire’s style is open to change and they allow for a wider breadth of elements to appear in their music in order to help communicate their messages as well as to keep the album fresh and interesting. Their inclusion of other instrumentation helps to communicate the message and emotion that they intend to invoke with their songs. As instrumentalists, Dorssom’s drums and Wolff’s bass are solid in each song and occasionally have chances to shine, and the electric and acoustic guitar work by Morrell and Chavez are expressive and eclectic. The keyboards also manned by Morrell give a nice flavor to the music, and expand the songs into a new horizon. Tittsworth’s vocals are as open and powerful here, if not more, as on any of his previous work, and he especially shines in the low-mid range. His vocal style seems to fit Born of Fire’s mission well, and he seems to be a timely addition to the group. Dead Winter Sun is a solid album that does not allow itself to be musically pigeon-holed, yet at the same time is accessible enough to make itself easily appealing to fans of the heavy, melodic, and progressive metal genres, who should definitely give it some attention to add to their collection.
10/31/2014- “CHAD SCHULTZ”:
Remember the early 90s? When Metal still ruled the world and American bands stood tall.
Well it’s 2014, and Metal no longer rules, at least not in the good ol’ U.S. of A. However, Phoenix’s BORN OF FIRE have shown that all is not forgotten. Their 2014 release ‘Dead Winter Sun’ is the closest thing I’ve heard in a while hearkening back to classic era QUEENSRYCHE. Solid Prog Metal with added Power kick and a Modern heft. American Metal stands tall, once again.
German label Pure Steel Records is helping resurrect classic Metal bands like BORN OF FIRE. Originally formed way back in 1995, three original members (Guitarists Victor Morell and Bobby Chavez with Drummer Steve Dorssom) unite with a new Bassist (Michael Wolff) and a kick-ass new Vocalist (Gordan Tittsworth).
From the opening creep of lead off title track “Dead Winter Sun” you hear classic American Prog/Power influences from QUEENSRYCHE, FATES WARNING, NEVERMORE, and even some ICED EARTH. Tittsworth is a little less nose-bleed than Geoff Tate, but no less acrobatic. Mixing a little Axl Rose nasal into the Power Prog soars. With complex arrangements/rhythms and great weaving tapestries of metallic melodies.
Many of these songs refer back to the “cleaner” era of 80s/90s Metal. Guitars, Bass, Drums, and Vocals played hard and steely. Modern Metal is brutal and mean, but often lacks the clarity that so defined 80s Metal sound (à la WASP, QUEENSRYCHE, and SAVATAGE). So pure, unencumbered by overwhelming loudness. You can actually hear the crisp twin guitar licks, the defined bass pluck, the sharp clash of the cymbals, and the coherent lyrical sweep of the vocals.
Some great material played out: The reflective balladesque “Last Goodbye”, edgy Prog anthem “Cast the Last Stone”, a symphonic instrumental “Speed of Dark” opens into the storm-bringer assault of “Spiritual Warfare”, the cryptic haunted melody of album stand-out “Hollow Soul”, the operatic lift of the emotional Power(ed) “Echoes of the Lost”, and the acoustic fade-out “Tears”. Ten songs, 42 minutes, no filler.
The Guitars from Morell and Chavez guide us through labyrinthine corridors. With prominent Bass and precise double bass Drums propelling us on. All elevated by Tittsworth’s awesome pipes. The band lays down a solid foundation and he builds a towering skyscraper upon it.
There’s something about American Made Metal that’s just different. A substantive core, apart from all the classical/mythical themes and stylings that so defines European Metal. Something a little rawer, less polished, less restrained.
Not all of the album is at the same level, some standard material is mixed into the glory. At least, BORN OF FIRE resists the temptation of so many to include everything, and the kitchen sink. I’m glad the focus remains tight. These guys are producing much better stuff in 2014 than what the bands they emulate are doing now (I’m including both versions of QUEENSRYCHE).
Metal may have gotten its start in Europe (Great Britain, actually). But the grandness of Progressive Metal first soared right here in the United States. Those 80s pioneers showed off what mixing Prog Rock intricacy into Metal aggression could truly accomplish. BORN OF FIRE takes from that tradition and modernizes it. Their ‘Dead Winter Sun’ is hopefully a grand new beginning for this band. Highly Recommended.
10/31/2014- “METAL BULLETIN ZINE”:
Born of Fire, and latter-day Queensryche and Fates Warning have several elements in common: a balance between heavy metal and prog songs that showcase guitar and vocal melodies that would be welcomed by the listener that appreciates traditional talent in metal, especially metal that leans towards the prog side. With a band like Born of Fire there is more than meets the eye, though. They sound deceptively simple and memorable, although it should be noted that Born of Fire’s melodies are not the cheap, sugary kind. The spirit of intellectual metal colors the sound of this album “Dead Winter Sun,” evincing that the band would be perfect for the ProgPower festival in the U.S. and the people who really back this specific style of music.
Supporters of this style of metal will appreciate the way that Born of Fire goes about constructing the music. It would seem almost discriminatory or elitist against certain bands to say the following, but this metal originates from veterans skilled at what they do and who are comfortable with what they are, knowing that this music is stubbornly based on talent and songwriting, not on gimmicks. If there is a gimmick with Born of Fire, these eyes have certainly missed it! Where’s the look-at-me factor? Where’s the look-at-my-cool-this or cool-that trick? Nope, don’t see it. (They like black clothes and some of them have beards. Who knows, they probably dress this way for work.)
The variety within the album means a listen that makes you sit up a bit and double check the songs, which is a very good thing, signaling that this band is not on autopilot. The songs run the range of heavy/power metal uptempo numbers to tracks that are more introspective in nature, encouraging the listener to explore a bit more. Like Fates Warning or Queensryche, Born of Fire can and does rock at times, but they refuse to be one-dimensional, and they just come across as self-confident, in a good way. They do various things, not just one tempo, and hopefully people like it, but if people expect cookie-cutter songs that are all ear candy, perhaps Born of Fire is not the band for those listeners. For that reason, you can call this “adult contemporary metal” or “middle-age metal” or “your parents’ metal.” It’s music for people who have confidence in the metal that they support, regardless of how popular it is with their friends.
Here’s also hoping that some young kid writes hate mail and responds with: “You are stupid, Metal Bulletin Zine. I am 14 years of age and I love Born of Fire, you idiot!” The truth is that it’s bad to stereotype. We all know that amongst the metal public, there are, in fact, very young listeners who read difficult books, who read philosophy, science and politics, and who are very intelligent and who see right through the trends and the silliness of a lot of metal, and who are searching for metal that offers more than cheap thrills and pop melodies. Born of Fire is such a band.
What should a listener expect, then? Well, definitely expect talent, singing, good instrumentation, tradition, skill, a good sound and overall effort and quality.
10/6/2014- DANIEL ORTIZ FROM “METALHEADS UNION”:
“Born of Fire was formed back in 1998, in Arizona (US) releasing their first demo a year later and a first full length in 2000 called Transformation, comprising a sophisticated power metal style well accepted by the international media. After a 3 tracks EP the band took a lull of 10 years just to come back with renovated energies in 2012 releasing the compilation album Anthology via No Remorse Records.
Born of fire then signed with Pure Steel and are ready to release their second full length the next 14th November, Dead winter Sun, heralds notorious progressive drippings under an American power metal structure, lots of changes of rhythms in the compositions and the inclusion of orchestrated elements combined with the melodic electric guitars, and no doubt, the vocals are in the clean, melodic and mid high pitched style on the line of bands like Queensryche, Fate Warning or Crimson Glory.
Cast the last stone starts the record becoming part of the highlights of the album, awesome from the mid tempo pulse with melodic vocals to a catchy chorus linked with Dead winter sun, the tittle track of the album, being another top track of genuine progressive American power metal, slow to mid paced track on the line of Queensryche.
Echoes of the lost goes in crescendo to a mid pulse intense anthem with one of the best vocal performance well backed by orchestra and electric guitars as the Hollow Soul riff take you to an awesome mid paced trip of epic verses and melodic progression with outstanding interpretation on the vocals, then the double pedal drums introduces the listener to the aggressive headbanging song In a cold world containing some modern elements but very much on the line of the band’s style, excellent the changes of pulse and the vocal perception.
Last goodbye and Tears are the ballads of the album, with a good amount of intensity and also enriched with a refined composition that in general has been taken care in every detail, the acoustic guitars and violins play definitely a very well performed role.
As the symphony of Speed of dark opens in very well produced dark atmospheric feeling its the turn of Spiritual warfare, continuing the usual rhythm patterns of the rest of the album, with remarkable job of the vocalist creating a good high pitched pace, and also the harmony between the guitars and orchestra elements are brilliant.
When hope dies explodes in a fast tempo pure power metal act, the progressive drippings are leaded at perfection by a combination of power and aggressive elements, superb performance in this track, remarkably their best hit to finish the album.
The album in general is awesomely produced, and the details have been taken care denoting a hard job well done, every song is sophisticated in the compositions and the vocal parts are remarkably brilliant, but looking the album as a whole, you’ll find the pulse in general follows the same diagrams, feeling some times the need of faster rhythms or more straight choruses.
Excellent album though, Dead winter Sun remarks the reborn of this band, burning brighter than ever with renovated power!
10/6/2014- HANS FROM “REAPERZINE”:
(10/10)- Already in 1998, founded BORN OF FIRE, brought out in 1999 their self-titled demo. 2000 was the first album “Transformation” on the market. Before ten years was quiet around the band in 2001 still came out a demo EP. 2012, reported the boys from Phoenix (Arizona) back with a Anthology, let go to 2014 “Dead Winter Sun” with a new singer and bassist to the mankind.
“Dead Winter Sun”, the title track, is also the opener. He begins quietly, with quiet choir and singing. After exactly one minute, comes a cry, the track is mid-tempo and with good vocals ear. To center it is quiet and it put a string until the part is completed by the guitar solo and goes mid-tempo to end. “When Hope Dies” is, for this album, quickie with a catchy vocal line. In “Last Goodbye” Singing is often found in the higher realms. Here different moods are created by different parts. This song certainly comes close to comparing with FATES WARNING. “Cast The Last Stone”: The song starts with acoustic guitar and quiet vocals. After a few seconds of the song turns into a electric guitar melody and picks up momentum. With six minutes and 31 seconds which is also the longest song on the album. After four minutes, is a good one-minute guitar solo. The song has a certain monotony, but without being boring.
“Speed of Dark” is a soundtrack-like intro from stringed instruments, which could be good use in a submarine movie. Seamlessly it continues to “Spiritual Warfare”, for me, a highlight on the album. Excellent song, great song structure and good melodies. “Hollow Soul” is quiet to properly loszuschmettern in the chorus in the verse. Also here are strings present, miss the song a special touch. “Echoes Of The Lost” is another highlight on this album for me. As the songs before this also starts very quietly. Strings accompany the singing, after half a minute, Gordon Tittsworth his vocal arts in the finest. The vocals are quite high, but controlled. If Gordon hinbekommt the number live, I tip my imaginary hat! “In A Cold World” is the hardest number on the album. With Double Bass and Gitarrengeschredder we go, some tempo changes and vocal variations, from high to deep vocals, make for a healthy change in the song. A peaceful conclusion is “Tears”, because the song is the only ballad on “Dead Winter Sun”, a quiet, powerful, melodic number.
Out tip: “Echoes Of The Lost” and “Spiritual Warfare”
Conclusion- The very melancholy album yet exudes hope and enjoy. Excellent vocals meet well-arranged songs. Love for all people, the progressive tinged music with places high vocals.
11/21/2014- FRANK HILL FROM “MAXIMUM METAL”:
(4/5)- Born of Fire paints a picture of a frozen wasteland on the cover of their new release. It could be metaphoric for the ten years the band has been dormant before recently finding the internal fire to return with Dead Winter Sun. It’s a long time to be away, but not unheard of with underground metal. Something inside compels a musical creativity to rise again.
Dead Winter Sun is a stout release of traditional heavy metal with enough progressive elements to be intriguing, yet not incoherent to the classic headbanger. The guitars are beefy, but it never gets ponderous under its heft thanks to some strong emotive solos (“Last Goodbye”) and the addition of strings and natural keyboards. The punchy downbeat rhythms of “When Hope Dies” and aggressive, machine gun riffs of “In A Cold World” elevate it out of the pessimistic introversion it sometimes treads toward. A couple more neck snappers like those would have been to my taste, but DWS flows pretty consistently as it is. “Speed of Dark” stands out as an ominous instrumental. It almost has a dark holiday feel with its chimes and drums.
New addition Gordon Tittsworth’s vocals cover a wide range from deep spoken passages to John Arch/Geddy Lee heights with his mid-range the strongest here. Prior work with his own band, Images of Eden, tended to stay in the upper register, so I’d assume his other work-for-hire with Guatemalan band Dread the Forsaken brought on the vocal expansion.
The theming, largely from the lyrical content, is dark enough that DWS left me with an overall feeling of suspension; a hanged man waiting to see if his rope will give or break. The album mood walks the edge of being defeatist, but within the cold there are flickers of guiding light–keyboards in the title track that signify hope and resurgence, vocals that soar in “Echoes of the Lost”, and the gentle closing moments of “Tears”.
What do you do when hope feels lost? You look inside and rediscover what brought you happiness before, like a band who is back on the scene and hungry after a decade-long hibernation. For fans of Nevermore, Fates Warning and mid-era Queensryche with a small rounding up of my rating for indy effort and passion.
PREVIOUS REVIEWS- “ANTHOLOGY”:
STEFAN SILEGHEM FROM “METAL TO INFINITY”:
“Along with the release of an Iron Maiden tribute called “Maiden America” through Twilight Records back in 1999, I heard for the very first time of a band named Born Of Fire. On this albom, they stood firm and contributed with the legendary Iron Maiden cover “Remember Tomorrow” and a second, song of their own entitled “Fire And Brimstone”. As a long time seasoned US Metal maniac I can remember very well Born Of Fire Stole my heart right on! When you are dealing with Metal music from Phoenix, Arizona you better be well prepared for something big, really big I mean.
Before the start of Born Of Fire, most of the members were in a band called Psychic Pawn with which they have released a three-song demo “Wake Of Entity” but the band came to an end due to intern circumstances. Born Of Fire was officially formed back in 1997 and first demo saw the crack of dawn in 1999. Four songs on the track list, along with this demo recording, Born Of Fire surprised all US Power Metal maniacs who liked their stuff pure as can be. One year later on and BOF unleashed their debut, full length album “Transformation” featuring 9 compositions and again, the feedback came on in those days was outstanding. Press and media were overwhelmed and also the band got a lot of airplay as well. Independently released so the main thing was to catch a decent record deal, which they really and unfortunately could not live up. Damn shame these guys never deserved a fair chance to spread their fantastic way of Metal through one or another record company. But they won’t give up the fight and in 2001, the release of a three song EP was a fact! One of the songs from the demo entitled “In The End” has been downloaded for at least 60.000 times and it earned the band an underground European Metal charting of #3 at one time. And still, not even one label offered these guys what they really deserved like no others a label contract. That’s a shame to me¦ actually a same old story repeating itself on a regular basis.
It’s quite amazing to see all the great bands Born Of Fire shared the stage with throughout the years of existence¦ here’s a small list: Armored Saint, Agent Steel, Destiny’s End, Saxon, Flotsam & Jetsam, Manowar, Sanctuary, ain’t this impressive!? While doing some research on the band’s background, I found the fact they once participated on a Black Sabbath tribute album with one of the biggest BS songs ever to me entitled “Heaven And Hell”, featuring the one and only, almighty and widely acclaimed God of Metal R.J. Dio!
Late December 2012, there was one particular label from Greece named No Remorse Records appeared with such a fantastic idea to release all the stuff from Born Of Fire on one CD by the applicable title “Anthology”. One of the best US Power Metal outfits from the 90s available for the very first time on CD- this one means the world to me. It wasn’t evident to catch material from these Phoenix metallers in the past, now big thanks to No Remorse Records who were able to re release all their superior works of pure US Metal!
Born Of Fire offers their music outstanding, full of variation featuring dark progressive elements and loads of nice melodic guitars. Another, very important pawn in the game of BOF is, without a doubt, singer J. Davis and its world class type of acting. In the vein of Metal gods like Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) / Geoff Tate (Queensryche), Scott Oliva (ex-Wind Wraith/The Nightmare Stage/¦), George Call (Aska/Bashee), Rick Mythiasin (Steel Prophet/New Eden/Redemption), Born Of Fire had one of the greatest vocalists on board in the history of US Power Metal. For sure, shivers running down my spine as soon as he starts to sing! Also the guitar players in for the kill with their brilliant ways of guitar shredding, I just adore everything Born Of Fire plays.
“Anthology” from Born Of Fire released through No Remorse Records deserves a standing ovation, nothing but big appreciation to both band and label from my side! You can get a professional looking edition featuring a 16 pages and full colored booklet including lyrics, awesome artistic paintings, lyrics, pictures and full biography. Make notice of the fact this is a limited release of only 500 copies so be fast if you want to be sure of something supernatural good!
Fans of early Queensryche/Iron Maiden/Steel Prophet, Fates Warning (Ray Alder’s “No Exit” period), Oracle, Aska, Mercury Rising in short, each and every US Power Metal collector should better be fast and order Born Of Fire’s “Anthology” effort on the double at: http://www.noremorse.gr/
For the record, I keep on playing this CD over and over again. I just can’t get enough of all the beautiful songs so allow me to say that US Metal still reigns supreme in my heart! One last, unfortunately painful fact to mention they’re finally disbanded and that’s a damn disappointment for all us, the ones hooked on the mighty forces of US hammering steel!”
My Points: 96 / 100 CLASSIC ROCK MAG:
“Powerful guitars, symphonic atmospheres and soaring vocals describe this band best.”
No arguments from this quarter. If you like Iron Maiden (in fact, BOF first came to our attention when they participated on a Maiden tribute album), Fates Warning or Queensryche, then you’re bound to get a kick out of this track, which celebrates the release of the band’s Anthology set.
Anthology comprises all of BOF’s previous releases: their 1999 demo, debut album Transformation (2000) and the Born Of Fire EP they released the following year. All the tracks have been remastered and the collection comes with a 16-page booket.
After a long hiatus from recording, BOF will enter the studio this summer to complete their new album Up From The Ashes that will be released in November 2013 via No Remorse Records.
OWNER/DJ OF REDROCK RADIO:
“There are times you here a tune, from a band you never heard of that TOTALY BLOWS YOU AWAY. Makes you remember why the Hell you’ve become a Metalhead. Reminds you of the real reason. Sure I respect all Superbands and major releases. But… IT’S GUYS LIKE BORN OF FIRE THAT KEEP THE FIRE BURNING. LISTEN, SUPPORT AND SHARE AS MUCH AS YOU CAN. THEY DESERVE IT.”