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Midnight Bullet - Into the Fire

Midnight Bullet
Into the Fire
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 24 June 2019, 12:53 AM

Finnish Groove/Heavy Metal band Midnight Bullet’s third full length album “Into The Fire,” is a solid but extremely frustrating release.  Although the band blends a lot of different genres that remind me of familiar bands, MIDNIGHT BULLET do have an unique sound.  Overall, it reminds me of late 90’s early 00’s Metalcore mixed with a Pop/Punk sound.  To a degree, I also hear some Melodic Death influences, especially modern IN FLAMES and CHILDREN OF BODOM.   However, their unique sound doesn’t create a very engaging listen but instead an uneven one.   At times, I can definitely tell they are a Metal bands.  Other times, I feel like they might be some sort of hybrid like early THRICE.  Or perhaps they are radio rock?  I just hear too many different versions of them on this album to be sure what their goals really are.

For everything I like about this record, there is something I don’t care for. Many of the songs start out with solid riffs but when the chorus hits, the band does a 360 into a tree.  The choruses are catchy but a pit to pop for their own good.  At other times, I was hearing riffs that strayed too far into watered down punk territory only to have them suddenly turn into something epic. Even the vocals are hit or miss. Tuomas often times sounds like the clean vocal approach used by Alexi from COB.  Other times, you could hear that same voice on any modern hard rock station.  This leads to that songs that, at times, feature kick ass music but below average vocals and then other times we get great vocals with bland music.  Very few times in the album does the band fire on all cylinders and get thinks right, on more even ground.

The opening track, “Over The Edge,” begins with a solid riff but then the vocals come in and straight up murder it; his vocal attack here sounds like standard hard rock I heard on the radio growing up.  The guitar solo is pretty good, much better than the riffs it came from. Lauri displays a knack for short but sweet guitar solos and it is unfortunate the rest of the band often times can’t keep up with him. The second track, “Break Me First,” is a lot better and should had been the opening one.  The riffs presented are meatier and the vocals are a bit rougher.  On occasion, Tuomas does let loose a decent scream—every song on this album would be improved if he used more of a shout or growl.  The chorus here is rather catchy but, again, the vocals might be from a boy band or pop song.

Title track “Into The Fire,” is one of the better song on the album—if more of them were along the lines of this track, the album would be a lot better.  The riffs and tempo find that sweet spot between mid-paced and thrash, creating a heavy, modern sound that wouldn’t be out of place in the height of the era that spawned bands like SHADOWS FALL and KILLSWITCH ENGAGE. “One Man War,” is another solid rocker; the galloping riffs and drums immediately grabbed my attention, as did the much better vocal performance. I think what helps this song the most is it doesn’t have a pop punk chorus.

In the end, this is a solid album, but nothing more.  If I was sixteen or seventeen again and just getting into the heavier side of music, I would be all over this.  However, at this point in my life, I review dozens of albums a year and discover at least that many more on my own.  As such, this album just can’t hold a candle to anything else I’ve heard this year.

Songwriting: 5
Originality: 6
Memorability: 5
Production: 5

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Ain't Dead Yet
2. Into the Fire
3. Rise
4. Over the Edge
5. One Man War
6. Second Chances
7. No Turning Back
8. Break Me First
9. Quiet Whisper
10. Morning Star
11. One by One
12. Leavings
Lineup:
Tuomas Lahti – Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Mikko Nokelainen – Drums
Lauri Ikonen – Lead Guitar
Mirko Miettinen – Bass
Record Label: Inverse Records
     


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Edited 12 December 2019
 

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