Dying Victims Productions are the proud presenters of this debut album by Midnight Fury, with “Uncertain Times” being highly anticipated on the band’s home turf of Germany. Described as playing “honest rock music on real instruments”, Midnight Prey are a trio soaked in the best old-school traditions of classic rock and like nothing better than banging out high-energy rock’n’roll.
The band was formed in 2013 by Hannes Ruhland (drums), Winston Ziller (guitars, vocals), and Daniel Friesen (bass), who have been teenage friends together from the age of 16, listening to music as diverse as Venom, Frank Zappa, from Roxy Music to Bolt Thrower, from Rory Gallagher to Black Flag – almost nothing was taboo, they simply shared a love of rock. Having decided to start playing together, they worked their way through Germany’s underground heavy metal venues and released a demo on tape called “The Savage Sessions” in 2013 via Witchhammer Productions.
The trio released their first EP “Rite of Blood” the following year and moved from the southwest of Germany to Hamburg in 2015. The “dirty, booze-soaked streets” of the St. Pauli area of Hamburg have provided much of the inspiration for their material, and live performances certainly back up this “down-and-dirty” feel.
As their first studio album, Uncertain Times continues that vein of energetic old-school version of thrash. Midnight Prey are a power trio in the classic 70’s mould, played with a forceful clarity that belies their tender years. The performances have a powerful urgency without over-distorting or over-filling the sound mix, it’s an energetic and gritty, very riff-driven but somehow very tuneful “live” sound that takes me back to bands like early Stray, or The Groundhogs, and the sweaty old days of the Marquee in London, and the Mayfair in Newcastle (Eeh, showing my age here!…). The only downside is the mix of the vocals which are too far back compared with all the instruments. This can make some of the lyrics quite hard to listen to, and with some of these being German the mix really ought to be have been better. The language leads to inevitable comparisons with Rammstein etc but this is unfair, I think Midnight Fury have their own distinctive sound that is more 70’s based but fresh, and I look forward to hearing more of their work!