MIDNIGHT RIDER – Manifestation

MIDNIGHT RIDER – Manifestation

Active since 2004, the stars align for German heavy metal act Midnight Rider to finally release their debut full-length in "Manifestation". Containing members with ties to Metalucifer and Metal Inquisitor among others, it shouldn’t be surprising that these 10 songs contain a lot of 70’s throwback elements that helped make Black Sabbath and Judas Priest benchmarks for a generation ready to quench their heavy thirst.

Solid grooves, swinging riffs, and pounding bass along with a vocalist that hits the grit and power of Rob Halford, there isn’t a filler cut amongst the bunch – fists will prevail and unison shouting at the circular, bluesy foundation for "Tears of Your Temptation", while the speakers crackle at the low-end cruising nature to "Heroes and Speedfreaks" that channel Blue Cheer and Black Sabbath as one. The production values and tones possess that similar plug in and play nature as the style Midnight Rider lives for – clarity without sacrificing digital compression to squash any of the nuances necessary in the original movement. Twin guitar harmony segments build in small doses – "Change Your Life" probably the best example of the playful nature for Blumi, often mirroring the vocal melodies in the faster sections. For this group, the almighty riff and melody combination become most important – shuttling out what they can right away and then letting the arrangement flow from there. Geezer Butler would be proud of the evil start to "The Execution", while "I Wanna Be a Prowler" sinks deep into the brain because of this one-two dirty guitar/higher melody tandem – keeping the listener engaged from beginning to end.

Considering the rise of bands like Night Demon, Enforcer, and the much missed Vanderbuyst, it’s a good time for Midnight Rider to appear on the scene. Quality rules, and "Manifestation" has adequate staying power, talent, and songwriting execution to be a powerful presence when the band hits the stage.