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Category VI
Fireborn
January 2014
Released: 2013, Independent
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Erich

Hailing from St John’s, Newfoundland is a promising new metal band called Category VI. They are the only female-fronted metal band in the city and according to their promotional material, one of the few melodic metal bands. The band’s debut album, FIREBORN is the product of a do-it-yourself work ethic, often the reality of unsigned bands. However, as the cover art and solid production values attest, this package is instilled with professional qualities.



Category VI’s style of metal is decidedly traditional, with flourishes of US and European power metal and even some progressive elements most notable in the running times and multiple riffs of the songs. Front woman Amanda Gosse has a comfortable range, considerably lower than the operatic style of the symphonic female bands but also higher and more gifted than say the gruffer style of a Doro or Crucified Barbara. Album opener “Vinland” has a prominent bass run, while guitarist Geoff Waye tastefully employs a wah wah pedal, an almost forgotten tool in the arsenal of contemporary metal guitarists. “Silence Befalls The Crowd” is a cool mid-paced chugger, with melodic riffs and a Maidenish middle section before transitioning into a quicker up tempo finish. The rhythm section competently holds down the fort while Gosse confidently soars through the songs. Waye recalls classic metal guitarists, like Vivian Campbell, using the wah wah, pedal, pinched harmonics, and chunky rhythms combined with melodic ascending and descending riffs. You can hear a good sampling of his playing on “The Raven”, an epic 9 minute plus tune, with several riff changes, some doubled guitar harmony runs, and a tasteful, resolving guitar solo.



All in all, this is definitely a promising debut infused with many retro metal qualities but also the band’s own unique and developing sound. The production and sound quality overall is well-balanced and impressive for an unsigned band. Clocking in at over 50 minutes and 8 tunes, the songs are perhaps a bit long for what is mostly a traditional metal style, but in the grand scheme of things this is a minor issue. The band is looking to release more music in 2014 and it will be interesting to see how their sound evolves, but for fans of traditional metal like Priest, Maiden, and even Warlock, this is worthy and recommended listen.
Track Listing

1. Vinland

2. Real Lies

3. Silence Befalls The Crowd

4. The Raven

5. Reborn

6. Beginning of the End

7. Descent of the King

8. Wasting Away

Lineup

Amanda Gosse - Vocals
Geoff Waye - Guitars
Tristan Adey - Bass
Jason Williams - Drums

Other reviews

» Fireborn
by Erich

» Fireborn
by Metal-Rules.com UK Team


Next review: » Category VI - Fireborn
Previous review: » Catchin’ 22 - Can’t Steal Our Spirit

Category VI
Fireborn
February 2014
Released: 2013, N/A
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team

After a few minor changes in the band’s line up and a series of shows, Category VI are set to unleash their unique blend of melodic metal to the masses. Fusing together the most memorable moments of Dio and the energetic guitar work of Iron Maiden, the quartet’s release Fireborn is set to create some serious waves in the contemporary Metal scene.



‘Vinland’ opens with a bass and distorted guitars and infectious drum work as the soaring clean vocals drive everything forward. The choruses work well as the steady drums and riffs wade through with a well measured use of metallic riffs before an impressive solo kicks in that will get air guitar fans playing along at live shows.



The speedy drums of ‘Real Lies’, and lead guitar set pulses racing as the vocals burst out with some well written lyrics and smooth sounding bass. The mid guitar section showcases some of the band’s impressive song writing abilities to a highly professional standard as the momentum is sustained through an array of tight drumming.



The charging riffs of ‘the Raven’ make this an instant hit. Full of sonic driven guitars and cathartic vocals the track scales its way through effortlessly with plenty of hooks and well balanced melodies. The backing vocals provide an anthem scale quality similar to Dio and would sound right at home in a stadium sized venue surrounded by a wall of raised fists from fans. The finger tapping lead see’s the band harboring towards some seriously epic sounding spheres and remains one of the record’s most exuberant moments.



Meanwhile, ‘Beginning of the End’ comes in with a punchy sounding bass and a serious guitar crunch, fully loaded with enough head banging vitality to get even the most demanding of metallers moving along. The vocals also felt the strongest in this track with a passion infused chorus that refuses not to be heard as the guitar slides into a further display of face melting lead section that knows no bounds.



Closing off with, the lightning fast guitar work of ‘Wasting Away’ the first few seconds display a strong sense of urgency. The drums barge through to an eccentric pace as the vocals soar high throughout the narrative of this song as the solos reel everything into a climactic departure.



What was great about the record is how everything fits together seamlessly, from the instrumentation, vocals and influences these guys come with a precision that is undeniably their own. Each track feels unique and offers up something that is both refreshing on the ears and authentic. This is a record that feels as rewarding in its wholeness and distinctive style. Top work guys.



Review by: Ben Spencer
Track Listing

1. Vinland
2. Real Lies
3. Silence Befalls the Crowd
4. The Raven
5. Reborn
6. Beginning of the End
7. Descent of the King
8. Wasting Away

Lineup

Amanda Gosse - Vocals
Geoff Waye - Guitars
Keith Jackman - Bass
Adam Thistle - Drums

Other reviews

» Fireborn
by Erich

» Fireborn
by Metal-Rules.com UK Team


Next review: » Catharsis - Rhyming Life and Death
Previous review: » Catchin’ 22 - Can’t Steal Our Spirit





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