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Category VI
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


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

Other reviews

» Fireborn
by Erich

» Fireborn
by UK Team

» War Is Hell
by JP

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