I was first introduced to these boys at Noctis Metalfest back in 2011. They liked to have a really good time, and people still talk about the house-party they were at. The owner eventually forgave them for the damage…I think. It took them a long time to shit or get off the pot but they finally squeezed out a Metal dump of steel and it was worth the wait. Their independent debut PROVING GROUNDS is now available and it certainly meets up with the hype these guys had been generating with their 3-song demo and live shows.
I don’t usually like to name-drop other bands in a band CD review but Midnight Malice are a part of the whole, completely awesome, Canadian True/speed Metal kill-force led by the young elite bands like Striker, Gatekrashor, Demona, Skullfist, Cauldron and half a dozen more. Speaking of Skullfist, two dudes of ex-members of Skullfist. PROVING GROUNDS is an 8-song debut running a quick 33 minutes and all three of the songs from the demo made it to the debut. The booklet is simple, a nice picture and some credits, just enough to get you by.
PROVING GROUNDS is packed with classic metal riffs, but not so many that the song gets bogged down. The songs arte pretty simple in terms of arrangements, they just take a good idea and run with a verse-chorus-verse-chorus solo chorus technique. The songs are fast and furious with a huge sense of energy but not in a speedy double-kick Euro Metal way, more of a fun, head-banging way. The solos are simple but catchy and the choruses stick in your head very quickly. The individual performances are sloppy, loose and fun with an infectious sound. There is a great blend of rock spirit and Metal cred on PROVING GROUNDS.
It’s hard to explain how enjoyable it is to view this band and listen to the music through the lens of an older fan who saw this style in it’s first incarnation back in the early 80’s. Some people call it retro or revival or whatever but they are missing the point. Sure there are cool, new young bands like Midnight Malice who are creating this sound, but the thing is that classic sound never went away, it was always there, in the underground. You just needed to know where to look. Now thanks to bands like Midnight Malice with a strong debut album, PROVING GROUNDS this sound and style is stronger than ever. The album has lived up to it’s title!
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