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Album Review

Regardless of how long it took him (nearly 15 years, in fact) to return from his self-imposed musical exile, those familiar with singer Midnight's earlier work with Crimson Glory would know to expect something progressive, eclectic, and unconventional from his first solo album, 2005's Sakada. They won't be disappointed on any of those counts when faced with the nine tracks presented here, but whether they'll find the songwriting compelling enough to make up for the singer's lingering eccentricities — ranging from alternately goofy and impenetrable lyrics, to unfocused meanderings, to a still love-it-or-hate-it sense of pitch behind his keening shrieks — is another matter. First track "Incubus" attempts to illustrate its dreamlike horror by stacking Midnight's echoing ululations over stuttering hard rock power chords; the subsequent world music candidate "Berber Trails" takes listeners across the Sahara aboard nomadic Tuareg caravans; and the next, "Little Mary Sunshine," delves in goth lite-metal before ceding the floor to a poor man's take on Led Zeppelin III called "Miss Katie." "War" sounds like old Crimson Glory aping Queensrÿche (again); "Pain" applies disruptive time changes to commercial hard rock; the title ballad fuses psychedelic beatitudes with swirling flutes and Spanish guitars; "Lost Boy" repeats the trick, minus the flute and memorable hooks; and the closing "Cat Song" emulates Guns N' Roses during their acoustic black comedy days. A little bit of everything, in other words, Midnight's music will still sound half-baked and downright weird at times when compared to its obvious source material, but you'll have to admit it sure beats the hell out of most stodgy heavy rock albums from un-retired '80s frontmen.


Genre: Metal

Years Active:

Not to be confused with several bands using the same name, Midnight -- the man -- began his career as the singer for Florida's famously silver-masked progressive metal band Crimson Glory, who spent much of the late '80s and early '90s playing second fiddle to the world conquering Queensrÿche, then quietly split when grunge sent metal packing. It would take almost a decade for the band to resurface, but when it was announced they'd be working with new singer Wade Black, Midnight proceeded to launch...
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Sakada, Midnight
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