|Review: Ross The Boss - Born of Fire|
|Born of Fire|
Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2020
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: February 14, 2020
Reviewed by: MetalMike
for:Born of Fire
Rated 4/5 (80%) (2 Votes)
Born of Fire is the fourth album from former Manowar guitarist Ross the Boss and the second since he overhauled the band's lineup. Opening with songs called "Glory to the Slain" and "I Am the Sword," you could be forgiven for thinking that after playing all those classic Manowar songs live across the globe the last few years, Ross and company were settling in to relive old glories, but not so fast. Instead of epic traditional metal, Born of Fire opens like a flash flood of thrashing heavy metal rolling over you with the speed and ferocity of a blitzkrieg. "Denied by the Cross" takes the tempo down a bit but continues the aural assault and the album isn't an unrelenting speed fest. The riffs are a bit different from what we've come to expect from Ross, but he handles them effortlessly and his lead work, which is excellent, is where he gets back to his "roots". Vocalist Marc Lopes leans hard into his vocal lines and hits the high notes like he's channeling Jon Oliva from back in the early '80s. Bassist Mike Lepond is his usual amazing self and even gets in a little solo work on "Waking the Moon" while new drummer Steve Bolognese shows he knows his way around the kit.
It took a few spins for the thrashier songs to sink in, which they eventually did, but tracks like "Maiden of Shadows" and "Waking the Moon" should be instant standards for the band's live shows. There are a few cuts that never clicked ("Shotgun Evolution", "Godkiller") but overall, Born of Fire is a strong album and sees Ross the Boss pushing boundaries in a way not a lot of bands are willing to do these days.
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