Midnight Force - Dunsinane

Midnight Force Dunsinane cover
Midnight Force
Independent Release
Already sporting an EP, demo and single dating back to 2016, Glasgow, Scotland’s swashbuckling Midnight Force has now merrily crossed the drawbridge and rammed in the castle door with its fleet footed and downright jig-some full-length debut, “Dunsinane”, independently released February 24th on bandcamp, and by Jove, there’s every reason to get stirred up and excited as the quartet sounds like a wispy cross between Finland’s Angel Sword and Canada’s old time proto-rocker Warpig thanks to its rollicking and battle-some flair, as well as care-free, teetering swagger festively laid-out on each of the eight hook-laden tracks on offer.
The slappy as Hell drums and gruff, gumption stocked vocals notably parallel the Finns, whether it’s on the forcefully direct as well as derivative opener “Killer” and Adventures of Asterix and Obelix evoking “Alesia Falls”, which doesn’t pertain to a waterfall but rather, the site of the decisive Battle of Alesia in 52 BC that marked the defeat of the Gauls under Vercingetorix by the Romans under Julius Caesar (there’s your history lesson for the day) – or hearty, varying epics such as “Scarlet Citadel” and “Crystal Talon”, which features a friggin’ bouncy and cool guitar riff following its maudlin bass intro. That’s another thing: the bass playing is super well defined and prevalent, in a noodling NWOBHM style whilst the leads, although subtle and sparse, sit comfortably within the song’s buoyant foundations – actually, the stand-out solos on “Killer” give the impression of drunkenly walking a tightrope!
Admittedly, the rough-around-the-edges vocals may take a little while to get used to but rest assured they portentously suit the rambunctious, at times, keyboard complimented guitar riffs and overall, intelligent historical themes. The choruses are especially poignant and memorable; in fact, the ones to “Down with the King”, “Witchfinder” (sans “general”) and “Warlord Eternal” in particular are stuck fast to my psych while the kick-ass, fiercely poetic verses to “Killer” make me want to throw a classic heavy metal temper tantrum and break every furnishing in sight!
As much as I dig (like a beagle) the album’s loose, valorous and rough-housing rhythms, it’s really the shining gem of a closer/title track, which raises my high esteem as its folksy, somewhat Neil Young-ish and lightly cavorting pace, along with a medieval sounding flute driven second half, are second to none. In fact, I consider it a fortuitous coincidence a fellow metal correspondent recently introduced me to yet another compelling “old school” newcomer in Tanith, as this winning number readily instils similar fluttering nostalgic murmurs of archaically chill bonhomie... ah, good times, eh?!
So, if you’re feeling brashly debonair and hip at the moment, take the time to give Midnight Force’s latest (as well as Tanith’s “Citadel” single) a spin or three, as you’ll find there’s much to rejoice in.