Album Reviews

Ross the Boss – Born of Fire Review

AFM Records

Release: 6 March 2020

 

Line Up:

Ross Friedman- Guitars
Marc Lopes- Vocals
Mike LePond- Bass
Steve Bolognese- Drums

 

Tracklist:

01 – Glory To The Slain
02 – I Am The Sword
03 – Fight The Fight
04 – Shotgun Evolution
05 – Denied By The Cross
06 – Maiden Of Shadows
07 – Born Of Fire
08 – Demon Holiday
09 – Godkiller
10 – Waking The Moon
11 – Undying
12 – The Blackest Heart

 

 

Sometimes you’ve gotta have face-melting, ear shredding, neck-breaking metal to soothe the savage beast. Despite my predilection for melodic music most of the time, I’m still a tried and true, deep in the soul metalhead that has got to turn up the volume and rip off the knob. I have a great resource of “go-to” bands for just such an occasion, but I’m always looking for the next one to add to the stack. One band that seems to consistently get better and better with each release is named after it’s key member, guitarists Ross the Boss. Despite being more of a solo band for Ross, I’ve always felt that the releases under his nickname feel like a band effort. Especially with the latest Born of Fire.

Obviously, anything Ross Friedman releases, there will automatically be comparisons to what I feel is his most high profile past gig, Manowar. With that band, he wrote and recorded some of the most essential metal songs ever. While Ross the Boss has the aggression and intensity of Manowar (with some dashes of his punk roots with The Dictators cropping up from time to time) an album like Born of Fire manages to separate itself from the past. For starters, singer Marc Lopes is more than capable of tapping into Eric Adams range as displayed at ProgPower a couple of years ago when they performed a set of Manowar classics, but he has a harder edge to his voice than the Manowar singer. His impressive range from a melodic snarl to soaring falsetto notes will boggle your mind. Of course, Ross can construct songs based around killer riffs and blistering solos like no one else. This is the 2nd album to feature Lopes and Mike LePond on bass while switching to drummer Steve Bolognese for this album. Tracks like “Denied By the Cross,” “Glory To the Slain,” “Godkiller,” and “Fight the Fight” solidify my feelings that Ross the Boss is a band as opposed to a solo venture.

If you loved By Blood Sworn, there’s no reason to not love Born of Fire. There will clearly be an appeal to Manowar fans, but also bands like Judas Priest should find themselves banging their heads to it as well. This is such a capable line up of musicians I hope they stick together. Friedman has aligned himself with some of the strongest musicians in his career, and the strength of the songs proves it.

 

Written by: Chris Martin

Ratings: 8/10

 

 

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