Midnight Priest - Aggressive Hauntings review

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Band: Midnight Priest
Album: Aggressive Hauntings
Release date: May 2019

01. The Law
02. Funeral
03. Aggressive Hauntings
04. Eyes In The Dark
05. Holy Flesh
06. Ecstasy
07. Sin For Satan
08. Iron Heart
09. On Your Knees For Metal
10. Black Leather

Now this is how traditional metal should be done; Portugal's Midnight Priest have created one hell of a metal concoction that moves forward while drawing from the past. The band creates an infectious and possessing sound that will see you converted to the band's cause soon after listening. Aggressive Hauntings does what it says on the tin; like a ghost stuck in purgatory, you will find the songs stuck in your brain.

To address the elephant in the room, yes the band do sound like King Diamond meets Judas Priest: is this a bad thing? Oh Hell no. Midnight Priest take their cues from the king for sure, but for the most part they carve out their niche that they make their own. Should the king ever decide to hang up his inverted crosses, Abigail has a new band to haunt forevermore. Lex Thunder has an amazing voice; not only does he sound unique in his own right, but damn can he mimic King Diamond and Rob Halford with apparent ease.

Tracks like "Iron Heart", "Funeral" and "Holy Flesh" serve as appetizers to the main course that is the album in full. Each track is as powerful and full of life as the one that came before it; pick one at random and you will find yourself wanting to listen to the rest of the album anyway. The compelling dual guitar attack of Bringer and Fist lace each song with memorable and strong riffs that will hold your attention like a ghostly hand around your neck.

Yes, the band do sometimes stray too close from homage and into copycat territory, with songs like the title track sounding instantly memorable because you have heard it before, only with a few minor tweaks to differentiate it. While still enjoyable, it does take you out of the moment for awhile before you find yourself absorbed again by the music.

The band sound like they are on fire on this record, with the production knowing exactly what it needs to do to enable the music to shine. The guitars and vocals are pushed high up in the mix to draw your attention while the drums and bass have their own space towards the back, yet they are in no way buried by the rest of the band, being easily heard and pushing the song forward. The production is ideal for the traditional sound that the band steep themselves in, vibrant and full of life as the band sing about…well the afterlife.

Aggressive Hauntings may step on the toes of those that brought them to the dance but when you're pulling off some of the moves that Midnight Priest are, it is a price that you can make an exception for. Easily one of the best in the new wave of traditional metal, Midnight Priest are a band rising like the spirit from the grave; you may have thought the genre was dead and buried, but along comes Aggressive Hauntings to remind you that nothing is ever truly dead.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 5
Production: 8

Written by omne metallum | 22.05.2020


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

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