Midnight Rider is an interesting phenomenon in metal. It is a fact that hundreds and hundreds of bands worship on the altar of classic heavy metal from the golden eighties and especially try to conjure the spirit of classic Accept or Judas Priest. However, when I first heard the band from Koblenz with their debut album Manifestation in 2017, it just shocked me how well they epitomize the essence of early Priest in their music. The resemblance of Wayne’s vocals to those of young Rob Halford was undeniable, but the music was as good and authentic as anything off Priest first three albums, which was quite an achievement, to say the least. The long-awaited second album from the Germans Beyond The Blood Red Horizon is finally coming out on October 7th, through Massacre Records and continues in the same vein as the debut, with only the drum stool occupied by new member Tim. This means we are once again teleported in 1977, with just the right dose of blues and hard rock injected in the otherwise heavy riffing and thunderous classic metal rhythm section.
The title track, which also is the first single and video, encapsulates everything we have been hoping for during these long five years – pure old school metal from the late seventies, with really strong melodic touch and a sense for the big, rhythmic riff, reminiscent of Thin Lizzy. The songs are predominantly mid-tempo, with a strong emphasis put on the rhythm guitars. No Man’s Land and Time Of Dying bring forth some Sabbath gloominess, before the album’s centerpiece epic No Regrets steals the show with fantastic guitar solos and genius transitions. Be prepared to play this on repeat – it’s that good. Midnight Rider wear their early Judas Priest influences proudly and are not ashamed to confirm it in every song throughout the new album. What is most admirable is the warm, organic production and the feeling of a band playing with so much joy and dedication, there was probably sweat dripping from the studio roof. Intruder and Your Parole are also highlights, while the closing up-tempo rocker Always Marching On sounds like early Saxon and Deep Purple jamming like there’s no tomorrow.
I also have to mention the absolutely stunning artwork by Dimitar Nikolov, which adds even more atmosphere to an already great package. This is an album that demands to be listened to on vinyl and an album that lived to my expectations. One can only imagine what a live show of these guys looks like and can only hope the bigger festivals in Europe pay attention and give Midnight Rider a call. Finally, guys – please don’t make us wait another five years for album number three.
You can order Beyond The Blood Red Horizon from HERE