Midnite Hellion: Hour of the Wolf

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Midnite Hellion: Hour of the Wolf
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Midnite Hellion: Hour of the Wolf
Heavy Metal, Speed Metal
Self-release, Witches Brew
November 29th, 2013
Release length: 10:27
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Trenton, New Jersey based Midnite Hellion came together in 2011 to play their brand of early Heavy Metal and Speed Metal worship. In just two years they have gone through a good number of band members, leaving bassist Bill Dripps, drummer Drew Rizzo (former Capitalist Death Machine), and guitarist Dan Sclavi the only founding members left. For 2013 they picked up guitarist Nick DiGiovacchino and vocalist Pamela “P.J.” Berlinghof, a lady fans of the underground Power Metal world may know from Twilight Odyssey. This puts a new spin on the band’s sound, which has already making sizeable waves in the Metal world since their 2011 demo The Fever and 2012’s Enter the Unknown EP. Now the band is writing their debut full-length release, are planning a live cassette, and before all that present a brand new two-song single titled Hour of the Wolf to show off the new shift in sound and introduce their new members. But, is this new single worth spinning, or have they taken some steps back to accommodate the new blood?

Even though Midnite Hellion formed in 2011, they sound like they’ve been around for ages. “Hour of the Wolf” kicks off with some solid Heavy Metal hooks that suit Pamela’s clean vocals perfectly. It’s as if listening to Judas Priest and Doro teaming up, and it sounds as beautiful as it is commanding. The only downfall to the track ends up being the rather thin and unimpressive gang chants during some of the bridges, not matching the boost in enthusiasm and speed that hits during the section, or the short-but-sweet ‘guitar solo that follows the second about two minutes in.

Meanwhile there’s “The Morrigan” which is draped in occult fuelled Heavy Metal melody comparable to King Diamond and even 3 Inches of Blood. The music itself sounds dynamic, but at times a bit restricted to simpler hooks for the sake of atmosphere, as well as deeper notes to make it a little heavier. There’s also a little less focus on the bass, unlike during “Hour of the Wolf,” but the drumming actually steals the show during the duelling guitar solos towards the end. Sadly, the first solo is great, but the second isn’t as impressive. This is due more to how loud it ends up being, drawing the attention to the distortion used that seems a little off against the rest of the music.

Hour of the Wolf is two solid slabs of melodic Metal goodness from start to finish. Other than a little restriction from time to time for the sake of atmosphere, both songs do have minor cosmetic issues, none of which hinder your perception of the talent is on display. Midnite Hellion is a band fans of Heavy Metal should be excited for, and if you’re not, then you need to pick up the Hour of the Wolf single from them and get ready for a group that has the potential to be the genre’s next big thing.

01. Hour of the Wolf – 4:53
02. The Morrigan – 5:35
Initial Pressing Score: 9/10

Midnite Hellion
Midnite Hellion

Digital review copy of this release provided by Midnite Hellion via Clawhammer PR.