Review by Alex on February 16, 2019.
Hellnite has had the best of my afternoon sessions for a few days now with their debut full-length album titled Midnight Terrors. Their thrash and heavy metal infused sound offers strong shots of nostalgia for any gamer that remembers the mid 80s to mid 90’s. I say that because there is a very light 8-bit tuning coming from the instrumentation that reminds me of menu and game-play music featured in Metroid, Doom, Duke Nukem and games of that era.
“Phantom Force” is the strongest example of this whilst shaping its sound into progressive metal on some occasions. As you advance deeper into the record you hear thrash and technical metal make incisions into the skin of Midnight Terrors. The technical display of the drummer, bass and guitars are in good taste, specifically on “Thrash of the Living Dead”, “Darker than Black” and “The Necromancer”. Thus said, the latter portion of the record highlights the technical aspects of the music with effective transitions between heavy metal, thrash metal and progressive metal being accentuated. It’s good that the album was not limited to one playing style as it could have easily dissolved into a drag.
Midnight Terrors establishes a concrete projection of where Hellnite’s music is and where they would like to take it. In contrast to their debut EP, Manipulator, that was more thrash metal oriented, the heavy metal aspect is more impacting this time around thus showing early signs of compositional maturity and confidence. This has also opened the doors for Hellnite’s song writing to explore foreign regions in the case they should decide to further expand their sound.
The vocals and lyrical arrangements have a distinct story telling mannerism, given the songs seem to be centered around horror and fantasy. Carlos Paolo Belmar Nieva "Paul" vocals reminds me of Skinflint's, Giuseppe "Juice" Sbrana on many occasions whilst listening to Midnight Terrors. The production is great, really neatly done mixing, all elements shine on their given moments providing audible sensations such as on the entirety of “Phantom Force” that is for me the best track and sounds like it should have been the final song on the record; it would have been an ideal closing for this effort. Thus said, the overall song placement could have been better as there are times in which some tracks felt as though they were tossed in, rather than being strategically placed. Doing this would have had a better effect on the flow of Midnight Terrors.
Midnight Terrors is a good record with good ideas that could be expanded on and implemented with better effect for future releases. I can see Doom Eternal being played with this music cranked up.
Rating: 7 out of 10