Navigate: main >> reviews
F U L L . R E V I E W S

Born of Fire
Dead Winter Sun

Company: Pure Steel
Release: 2014
Genre: Traditional, progressive
Reviewer: Frank Hill

  • A stout release

  • 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.

    About this Writer:
    Frank Hill // Frank Hill has been at this site since its slimy, crying birth in '03. He was born on National Metal Day--11/11 and will turn his hearing aids up to 11 when he's 111. He secretly listens to a lot of old Country and Doo-Wop tunes and wants to start a cyberband with lead vocals by Robot Plant. He is still trying to figure out what Judas Priest meant by "paratamize you". If you read this, then he salutes you.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.

    All reviews for Born of Fire:
    Dead Winter SunBorn of Fire
    Frank Hill11/21/2014
    Heavy Metal Hot SauceBorn of Fire
    Frank Hill7/23/2016

    All interviews for Born of Fire:
    Steve Dorssom, Gordon TittsworthBorn of FireFrank Hill4/24/2015

    You may also like:

    Syron Vanes

    Graham Bonnet Band

    A Sound of Thunder

    Grave Digger


    Lethal Shock

    Vicious Rumors



    Final Sign




    Blaze Bayley

    Diamond Head




    << back >>

    Emerald Sun
    Walk Through Fire
    Grand Magus
    Hammer Of The North
    Primal Fear
    The Beginning Of Times

    Earth Entangled
    The Defiled
    Shattered Sun
    Hope Within Hatred
    Violet Cold
    Magic Night
    Midnight Eternal
    Midnight Eternal

    Lemmy DVD
    In Flames
    The Mirror's Truth
    The Dawn Of Enlightenment
    Death Magnetic