Released: 2014, Pure Steel
You couldn’t be blamed if you missing Born Of Fire’s debut album. It came out independently 14 years ago! The American Power Metal band from Phoenix, Arizona used to be known as Season Of Pain as far back as the late 90’s but they evolved. Even before the roots of the core of the band were in an act called Pyschic Pawn. They have risen from the ashes (three times now) like the name sake of their hometown and Born Of Fire are back with the sophomore album DEAD WINTER SUN.
As to be expected there were some changes over the 14 years, they have recruited a new bassist and added Gordon Tittsworth on vocals. Gordon is really starting to make a name for himself on the USPM scene even having worked with Christopher Lee on his Metal Opera a few years back. I can’t compare him to their original vocalist but I’m assuming of course the band felt it was a move for the better. The band has singed to Pure Steel one of the truest Metal labels on the planet and it is a good fit.
DEAD WINTER SUN has a really awesome album cover, very eye-catching, one of my favourites from 2014. Musically the band is pure US Power Metal. The 10 track album runs a compact 42 minutes with a nice orchestral instrumental called ‘Speed Of Dark’ halfway through breaking up the album a bit. However, the rest of the album is not orchestral or symphonic at all. Opening with the title track and a simple spoken word intro over some simple guitar work you can tell the ominous intro is just building to something good…and then it hits you, a mighty scream and the song kicks in…a classic way to open an album! The band play a sort of mid-paced, darker Power Metal, not too fast or too happy just crunchy and in the pocket. Tittsworth has a clear powerful voice and good range. The tone and tempos are decent reminding me a bit of many of the classic USPM bands like New Eden, Steel Prophet, Destiny’s End etc. There is a good amount of acoustic guitar scattered across the songs used for good effect especially the last song, the closing balled ‘Tears’ ending the album on a quiet note.
DEAD WINTER SUN was released quite late in 2014 (November) and maybe because it was released late and on a smaller label didn’t make too many ‘Year-End’ lists but it should have in my opinion, a very strong comeback album. If this is the bands fourth shot at glory I’d say they are closest they have ever been to making an impact. Very enjoyable.