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Midnight Hellion - Condemned to Hell

Midnight Hellion
Condemned to Hell
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 23 October 2017, 10:53 AM

Formed in Trenton, New Jersey, USA, in 2011, Heavy Metal trio MIDNIGHT HELLION blend the classic sounds of Thrash and Heavy Metal “the way it’s meant to be!” The band release their debut EP “Enter the Unknown” in 2012, but “Condemned to Hell” is their first full-length, from Witches Brew record label. The album contains nine tracks, two of which were on their original EP. The opening track “Black and White” opens with what sounds like a radio show introducing the “new track from MIDNIGHT HELLION. It has a traditional Heavy Metal riff, with a swift tempo and mid-range vocals, that get lost a bit in the mix. This could be something you heard on MTV in a heavy 80’s timeframe rotation. “Cross the Line” has about the same upbeat pace and is another classically riff driven song that perhaps falls more into the Thrash category for me, especially when considering the percussion technique.

“Enter the Nighmare” opens with a slow build of acoustical guitars and a darkness overall. Some of the riff accents are heavy and create a bombast of a thick and meaty sound. “Soldiers of Hades” sounds like an early incantation of one of the lesser known NWOBHM bands. It catapults you back in time when Metal music was pretty narrow in its definition. I don’t have a problem with an ode to the glory days because this was the music I grew up on, but modern day bands have to find a way of making the sound their own; interjecting their own personality into the style. “Rip it Up” has a quickened tempo and some vocal angst. The climbing guitar riffs are a nice feature here, as is the shredding guitar solo, though it is short lived. “The Morrigan” had a riff that will remind you of early DOKKEN and the like. “I feel the end is approaching” is the opening lyric line, so you have an idea of the theme here.

“Teenage Blooksuckin’ Bimbos” is a mid-tempo number that is a tongue in cheek look at vampire culture. Unfortunately, though intended to be funny, it comes off a bit cheesy, as it is just very thin in terms of the instrumentation, and vocals that never really get off the ground. The artwork on the album is pretty cool. But, it might be the best thing about the album regrettably. It just doesn’t offer anything modern the genre. I get that, by design, it wasn’t really the intention of them to introduce a new style of music. But still, it just sounds stale, ever if it had been released in 1983. I admire their commitment to the style, but they just have to find a way to make it relevant today.

Songwriting: 5
Originality: 4
Memorability: 4
Production: 6

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Black and White
2. Death Dealer
3. Cross the Line
4. Enter the Nightmare
5. Soldiers of Hades
6. The Fever
7. Rip it Up
8. The Morrigan
9. Teenage Bloodsuckin’ Bimbos
Lineup:
Rich Kubik - Bass/Vocals
Mario DiBartolo - Live Guitars
Drew Rizzo – Drums
Record Label: Witches Brew
     


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