Midnight Sun - Metal Machine

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Limb Music
Catalog Number: LMP 0109-034 CD
Format: CD
Total Time: 45:52:00

Midnight Sun has been doing the rounds for a few years now (this is album number four) although this is the first disc of theirs that I have heard.

Whilst the bands' main member is bass player Jonas Reingold, the album gives room for all of the musicians. Beginning with the amazing neo-classical guitar work of one Magnus Karlsson, last heard on Last Tribe's The Ritual (another guitar heavy album in the melodic rock genre), Magnus is truly a shining talent in the realms of virtuoso, neo-classical guitarist (yes, think Michael Romeo from Symphony X). From there we move on to vocalist Jacob Samuel, last heard on Treasure Land's Gateway disc a few years ago. And I am so glad to hear him belting out metal tunes once again (but what's with the hair?). But let's not stop there, as joining them is drummer Jaime Salazar. Who is he? The ex-drummer of stalwart Swedish progressive rockers The Flower Kings. This rhythm section of Jaime and Jonas is AMAZING to the extreme. One more then. Majestic keyboardist (who would fit nicely into Stratovarius if anything ever happened to Jens) Richard Andersson.

The fact that 70% of Metal Machine's song titles relate to the following words: metal, steel, fight should give you a fair indication of what they are playing - but they do it with such aplomb and professionalism; it's like it is something I have never heard before. The music will totally blow you away and it's intense with incredible melodies that are so heavy, so epic (but not Rhapsody epic), that it'll spin you out right from the start. Having this play LOUD is the ultimate and it is one of the most energetic discs I've heard all year. A dodgy ballad in the form of "Your Blood Burns In Hell" is, song wise, the only sore point of the album - not because ballads are standard in metal, it's just that it is not a very good song. But one bad song does not make a bad album. A hidden track on this disc is also present - an acoustic lead ballad with a straight, basic feel to it that doesn't annoy as much as that ballad.

There are, though, two (negative) points that I should bring up. The first is the lyrics. They are an abomination to the English language. Insulting. Childish. Corny. They have an IQ lower than a shoe humping dog. I love metal clichés but this ... just doesn't seem right. Manowar, Virgin Steele, and HammerFall have been living off clichés for years and we've recently had newcomer Lost Horizon taking it to new heights. But Midnight Sun's lyrics are wrong, embarrassing, and, well, shite. If you can look past them, then move the score up a couple of points. The second point I'd like to make relates to Jacob Samuel. Personally, his voice is outstanding, but I don't think heavy/power metal fans will warm to his voice so easily as his vocals don't always fit the music (but this is more a minor point and depends on how you like your singers).

Metal Machine is a wonderfully complex and involving CD that is let down, although not ruined, by lame lyrics.

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Metal Gods (4:07) / Dungeons Of Steel (3:37) / Temple Of The Graal (4:16) / Steel To Steel (3:59) / Metal Machine (4:33) / Fight (3:22) / Distorted Eyes (4:52) / Your Blood Burns In Hell (4:26) / Keeper Of The Gate (4:13) / Metal Will Stand Tall (3:53)

Jacob Samuels - vocals
Jonas Reingold - bass
Magnus Karlsson - guitar
Jaime Salazar - drums
Richard Andersson - keyboards

Another World (1997)
Above And Beyond (1998)
Nemesis (1999)
Metal Machine (2001)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin SE

Added: January 17th 2005
Reviewer: Gary Carson
Artist website: www.reingoldmusic.com
Hits: 1216
Language: english


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