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I have to admit, with a name like Born Again, I greeted this band's two song "EP" Neverending Fire with a great deal of trepidation. Was I about to be exposed to some rancid ideology? Not that I care when it comes to a band's "religious" leanings, I just despise when it goes from "this is what we believe" to "this is what YOU should believe." Of course, the stylized phoenix rising out of the flames on the cover gave me some hope that the name was more of a reference to the band's origin or past. Only one way to find out...
Born Again is a female-fronted Heavy Metal band led by none other than Crystal Viper's Leather Wych herself, Marta Gabriel. Anyone who has heard Crystal Viper knows she's one of the most powerful singers, male or female, in metal today and she is in fine form on Neverending Fire. In fact, it is worth it just for her gritty bellowing. Fortunately the lyrics seem to be focused on social and personal topics so we aren't dealing with the second coming of Stryper. The first track, "Neverending Fire," is a mid-paced rocker very much in the Doro mold. Big guitars, big vocals and an almost epic, if more rock, chorus. "One Question", my favorite of the two songs, picks up the pace and heaviness significantly. It blasts out of the speakers and Marta screams her lungs out. This one is more in line with what we've heard from Crystal Viper. The rest of the band, bassist Martin Albrecht, formerly of Mystic Prophecy, Majesty guitarist Bjorn Daigger, and Crystal Viper drummer Tom "Golem" Danczak, have the musical chops to keep pace with Gabriel's vocals.
I really like Neverending Fire and there can't be too many good female fronted METAL bands for my taste. And while I love Symphonic and Gothic Metal as well, there are simply far too many bands out there playing these styles. Fans of Crystal Viper, Doro and straightforward, excellent Heavy Metal would do well to check out Born Again. I hope to see a full-length that raises a bar already set high by Neverending Fire. Another winner from High Roller.
Originally written for http://www.metalcrypt.com