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Review: Category VI - Fireborn
Category VI

Label: Independent
Year released: 2013
Duration: 51:39
Tracks: 8
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: July 23, 2017
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating

Rated 3.75/5 (75%) (8 Votes)

I got this album from the band way back when it was released and actually thought I had reviewed it, but I recently noticed that I hadn't done so. Mea culpa. I'll go flagellate myself now. Should be fun. Seriously though, if memory serves, the album didn't really grab me at the time but I've now been listening to it for several days since Chris reviewed their second album and it's hard not to just leave Fireborn on repeat.

The province of Newfoundland & Labrador isn't exactly known as a hotbed for metal in Canada despite it being home to one of, if not the first heavy metal web site,, founded in 1995. The owner of the site happens to be a member of Category VI.

So, what are we getting from these metallers from our easternmost province with its own time zone? Well, anyone who has been over at Metal-rules over the years knows the owner's preference for traditional heavy metal and power metal and will not be surprised to hear that a very nice blend of both genres is what Category VI serve us on Fireborn. Did I mention this is a female-fronted band? Amanda Gosse's vocals are a definite highlight here. Whether the song calls for harsher-but-clean or melodic vocals, or for the obligatory in-your-face, powerful high-pitched power metal-ish delivery, she can and does deliver the goods. I often found myself lost in the vocal work while listening to the album.

Musically, as I've mentioned earlier, we get a mix of traditional heavy metal and what strikes me mostly as late 90s/early 2000s power metal (still my favourite years for the genre). I'd say the emphasis is overall more on power metal with very clean, fast playing with double-bass galore and some serious pipe work from Amanda, but every now and then the band doubles back with crunchier, more basic work that is deeply rooted in old-school metal, early to mid-80s style. Not much to complain about, really. It's not the most original stuff (at this point in time, is it ever?) and there are a few parts with male vocals that to me sound a little bit out of place, but overall this is a really nice slab of metal that should please fans of the old and new heavy and power metal genres.

Other related information on the site
Review: Firecry (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Firecry (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: War is Hell (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Interview with Geoff Waye (guitars) Amanda Gosse (vocals), and Keith Jackman (bass) on July 17, 2017 (Interviewed by Christopher Foley)
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