Several months ago I got the opportunity to review the first LP ‘Into the Unknown’ from New Jersey metal band Midnite Hellion. In that review I mentioned how I thought the band was a solid NWOBHM styled group with a vocalist that I thought was good at singing in the mid range area but was lacking in the higher range notes and this was one of the areas I thought Midnite Hellion could improve upon. Well they certainly improved in the vocal department…by completely changing the singer altogether.
Now sporting a new lead singer by the name of PJ Berlinghof, Midnite Hellion I feel has not only addressed the issues of the previous singer but it has also allowed them to take that next step from being a band in Jersey to being a band FROM Jersey who can now start working on the next step of their career.
With PJ in the lineup the band sounds more confident, the songs are played tighter as a group and everyone sounds more sure of their playing than on ‘Into the Unknown’. When listening to PJ sing I’m somewhat reminded of Ann Boleyn from Hellion as they have a similar vocal range and style. Both singers have a very solid mid range vocal and can hit some higher notes if needed as long as they do not try to sing 120 octaves above what any human should attempt. As a result Midnight Hellion plays to the strength of PJ and PJ sings to the strength of the songs written for her vocal style which as a result gives us a very solid song called ‘Hour of the Wolf’
The single ‘Hour of the Wolf’ really showcases how the band has matured in their songwriting from the previous release. The song is solid, played well, has strong vocals and sounds like a NWOBHM song that we somehow missed back in the 80’s. Great song and great classic or retro sound.
If I had to level a complaint for this EP is that there will be some people who will not like the old analog sound Midnite Hellion use here. The sound is warm and insulated and as a result it can seem a bit padded and the song can lose a little of punch. This is still something I feel can be worked on though as the band progresses. Otherwise I think ‘Hour of the Wolf’ is a great gem of a single to have that promises us something great to come with a new vocalist that has given the band a kick in the ass to get them to the next level.