MIDNIGHT (Crimson Glory)

"Sakada" (Black Lotus Records; 2005)

Reviewed by Ray Van Horn Jr.

You might want to give this album two listens before passing judgment and a few days between samplings is highly recommended. 

What struck a bad chord with me on one day seemed entirely different altogether on another. The artist known as Midnight, having once rolled with the likes of Crimson Glory, releases this, his second solo CD in five years. It's one hell of a weird journey, but a pretty satisfying one once you get used to the wavy roads Midnight drags you along. 

It may take some time for many listeners to get used to Midnight's quirky vocals, which frequently sound like the bastard child of Jim Morrison, Perry Farrell, J. Mascis and Les Claypool after having enjoyed the pleasure of the same groupie in the same tryst. Midnight's careening vocals are as unconventional as his music, which ranges from hard rock to incense-tinged psychedelia to dark folk.

One of the most appealing elements to Midnight is his random use the heavy dulcimer on tracks like "Berber Trails," "Lost Boy" and "Miss Katie," while on the opposite end of the spectrum are "Little Mary Sunshine" and "Pain," which sound like Alice Cooper on a raging acid trip. Pure metal fans will enjoy "War," which hammers along as Midnight gives us a demented interpretation of Rob Halford. Interestingly, this is a bit of a protest song, which always gets a horns-up in my opinion. And then ... the final two songs ("Lost Boy" and "Cat Song") are country-laced spacegrass tunes that are sure to challenge you. "Cat Song" is a hilarious beer-swigger with another Alice Cooper feel to the lyrics, so enjoy!

In all, Midnight's "Sakada" is a brave, if idiosyncratic venture that will either claim you as an immediate follower or it will require the utmost patience, depending on which side of strange you wake up on.

For more information (kinda sorta) check out www.themidnightmansion.com

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2005 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.