Midnight Bullet – Hostile Resistance (Inverse Records)Wednesday, 9th March 2022
The deeper the band gets into their career, channeling newer twists to a proven style or formula can be the challenge to keep listener interest while satisfying personal creative endeavors. Finnish act Midnight Bullet feels that need to reach back into the past while also experimenting in different elements of their groove-oriented metal/thrash ways for this fourth studio platter Hostile Resistance. The quartet appears to keep these ten tracks moving along at a brisk pace – cutting off any proverbial excess and getting to the meat and potatoes hooks, riffs, and tempos in a simplified, in your face manner.
Expect chunky guitars plus complimentary rhythm section support of the double kick/thumping variety – pummeling with the right half-time gallops or alternative/clean-oriented choruses to create aural earworms that endure beyond initial playback. Opener “Rain on Me” has the right angst and memorable chorus for a spirited opener, while the follow-up title cut showcases a bit more of their 90’s staccato groove metal/ Pantera-ish nuances, guitarist Tuomas Lahti contrasting his roaring gruff voice with some Layne Staley-oriented clean melodies in a surprisingly clear mid-range register. The foundational drumming from Mikko Nokelainen contains powerful double kick/snare combinations, but he can get quite progressive in a groovy-manner during the verses for “Dead Redemption” – a back half highlight as he floats between numerous metal landscapes to match the alternative meets aggressive riff churning. Black Sabbath/Corrosion of Conformity-like swagger penetrates “Enemy Number One” – an anthem for Midnight Bullet to scream, shout, and cast their anger into motivational catharsis. Returning to a seesaw thrash meets alternative metal conclusion for the longest track “Angel of Babylon” at almost five-minutes, it’s evident that these gentlemen concentrate on proper phrasing and songwriting construction – ideal at this point in their career to hopefully increase the fanbase.
Hostile Resistance may not naturally contain that ‘wow’ factor that other, larger bands with bigger budgets can deliver – but this is solid stuff that will impress most groove-oriented metalheads, especially those on the more thrash or 90’s alternative side of things.