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Midnight Prey - Uncertain Times

Midnight Prey
Uncertain Times
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 22 August 2019, 3:49 PM

It never really mattered to me that a certain band created its music upon already exploited influences and methods. As long as the quality is good and the music flows like wine, or beer, I don’t really care if a band renewed anything. However, I can feel the necessity of bands, not listeners, to rattle their foundation a bit with extra crisps just to make the process interesting and fun. The German MIDNIGHT PREY, for instance, started out as a crew of three that admired old school Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, trending within the obscurity of the 70s and late 80s, without looking at what is hype or what is going on strong nowadays. So the boys set out and released “Uncertain Times”, signed to Dying Victims Productions.

Listening to MIDNIGHT PREY is like heeding the call of THE CURE or THE SMITHS, yet in full throttle, well at least most of the time. That surge of Brit Punk / Rock, cascading through the band’s sound, especially in the low gained guitars, fused with a grit of proto-Speed Metal of the MOTORHEADish kind with a tinge of NWOBHM, is simply superb and quite an ear slasher. The riffing is moderately simplistic, sharing catchy notes and cool melody battle between the guitar and bass. As for the drumming, clearly a revelation, who would have thought to listen blast beats in a supposedly 70s driven album? I guess that is what they guys at MIDNIGHT PREY wanted you to think, creating an illusion, preaching expected the unexpected.

“Uncertain Times” production values sound so natural, as if actually produced back in the old days. I assume that analogue recording is pricey nowadays and every chap with a good enough equipment can do it digitally, nonetheless, the clarity generated from this album’s sound is undeniable.

The songwriting is straightforward in general, yet the band let itself stray away a little in order to leave room for several instrumentation performances that lasted more than a few moments. Furthermore, the inclusion of two songs in German really spiced things, making the experience further diverse, as the approach on these two songs, “Stoff” and “Wenn Es Von Vorn Beginnt” is somewhat fiercer than the others, MIDNIGHT PREY sound charged up with electricity, unleashing their wrath.

As for the English written tracks, in particular I enjoyed “We Lose”, certainly the album’s finest track, exploring various versions of Rock music, sharing a captivating main riff, and atmospheric C parts. The blast beats showcased, took me by surprise, are pretty amazing. “Black Forest”, “Uncertain Times”, and “The Tower” could have easily been THE CURE songs, both in vibes and musical direction, with Winston Ziller’s singing being both stale and emotive at the same time, similar to the vocal pattern of THE CURE’s Robert Smith. Needless to say that MIDNIGHT PREY created their own universe surrounding those songs, achieving an impressive end result, being nostalgic and energetic. I would also recommend listening to the lengthy closer, “The Fall (Into The Atmosphere)”, which is a tremendous summary to what MIDNIGHT PREY has to show for.

So maybe being obscure is to sound innovative? That is a good question, yet MIDNIGHT PREY don’t need to prove that. Their musical direction and the evidence within “Uncertain Times” show that they know the meaning of true quality, even if not modernly updated. Continuing in this path forward would be recommended for the guys.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Stoff
2. Black Forest
3. The Tower
4. Wenn Es Von Vorn Beginnt
5. We Lose
6. Uncertain Times
7. The Fall (Into The Atmosphere)
Lineup:
Daniel Friesen - Bass
Winston Ziller - Vocals / Guitars
Terje Steamhammer - Drums
Record Label: Dying Victims Productions
     


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