Power of Metal.dk Review

Born of Fire
Dead Winter Sun
Style: US Metal
Release date: 14 November, 2014
Playing time: 42:35

This has a lot of good potential going for it, at least instrumentally - the riffs might not be the most original and it may have a melancholy tone that is a little overbearing at times, but that isn't a problem.

A lot of emphasis has been given to guitars and vocals and it makes the album suffer a little. The drumming and bass sounds are very formulaic and neither gets a chance to shine.

The main problem with this album is the vocals. They really do not fit the music at all. Only the way they are sang. A lot of thought has gone in to the actual words, it's just not sang in a way that suits the music. When they're trying to be dark and creepy, or mysterious, it doesn't work. It sounds like my voice would when I haven't been getting enough to drink.

Also a lot of the tracks start exactly the same way and it gets pretty boring. A clean melodic guitar intro with soft sang (or badly whispered) lyrics before taking off.

A high point on the album is a wonderful orchestration called 'Speed Of Dark' but Born Of Fire do not capitalize on building this great instrumental piece beyond one minute and eight seconds. Much could have been achieved here, instead of making the title track a 5 minute struggle absent any innovation. Although, to be fair, maybe the fact that it is so short represents the very point they are trying to make given the title is 'Speed Of Dark'. It still doesn't stop me thinking they may have done better to elaborate on this track though.

I'm afraid the whole album is at best listenable, but not something that stands out. Their press release calls them a power metal band and maybe they are, I have never heard their other material, but Dead Winter Sun is almost completely devoid of anything that could be realistically called power metal, except for 'When Hope Dies', which is easily the best track on the album but again let down by vocals that just don't sound right.

Having said all that, there are clearly some high points that cannot be ignored. The guitar prowess is admirable and is used very well and in the right places to add a much needed kick to songs that would otherwise not be worthy of note, and the vocal harmonies and backing vocals outclass the lead vocals in almost every instance. There is talent here without a doubt, but it isn't taking the right direction.

Dubbed as 'refreshingly unique and modern', I'm sorry to say this is neither.

01. Cast The Last Stone
Dead Winter Sun
Echoes Of The Lost
Hollow Soul
In A Cold World
Last Goodbye
Speed Of Dark
Spiritual Warfare
When Hope Dies
Label: Pure Steel Records
Distribution: Pure Steel Records
Reviewed by: Matt Fabi
Date: 10 November, 2014
Website: www.bornoffireusa.com