While leather clothed geezers Manowar are saying good bye with their farewell tour but not going to went off the stage (or just packing their things and leave, like at Hellfest), their former guitarist Ross ‘Ross The Boss’ Friedman is doing what should be done: he plays music, performs and records the fourth album of Ross The Boss band Born Of Fire
If the previous Ross The Boss‘ album By Blood Sworn was a typical oldschool “True Heavy Metal” Manowar style, then new longplay became heavier, faster and much more various. There is a place for every member of the band and everyone could show his undeniable skills. Vocalist Marc Lopes easily hits the high notes, delivering great metal screams just like young Rob Halford and Eric Adams but also easily starts to sing with a raw and aggressive vocals. Steve Bolognese’s merciless drums sound powerful and uncompromising, showing some great patterns and short solos from time to time. Bassist Mark LePond also shows his great playing techniques sporadically. And Ross Friedman’s mastery needs no introduction, I guess.
The album opens with fast “Glory To The Slain” with heavy sound and with a light touch of Punk. For many years Ross played in The Dictators and it seems that he decided to recall his good old Punk days, emphasizing it with fast rock’-n’-roll solo. Next one “I Am The Sword” isn’t reduce the speed and heaviness but there’s only Heavy/Speed Metal in it, such as Agent Steel or Vicious Rumors.
“Shotgun Evolution” and main “Born Of Fire” is a quite American Heavy, fast and aggressive. By the way, here Steve Bolognese’s playing can be acknowledged fully. “Maiden Of Shadows” and “Godkiller” for their part sounds more like Manowar because of their pretentious sound. Choirs and keyboards on the background add the epicness to these songs.
With this Born Of Fire became quite uneven album. Ross The Boss and other band’s members apparently wanted to diverse it as much as possible and they coped with it. Another thing that not in every song various elements interwoven seamlessly and in that case it become something strange and unevenly sounding thing; “Demon Holiday” and “Undying” are really good examples for it. As a result, if we will decompose the album to discrete elements, they themselves will sound good but assembled together sometimes they just don’t work.
As a matter of fact, the album had all the preconditions to become great: skilled and experienced musicians, great work of mixing engineer Seel Leverman, countless things. But in the end it just “not bad” album; nothing more and nothing less.
Born Of Fire was released on March, 6 via AFM Records.
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